Here by Mistake by David Ciferri
Entering the basement of an old mansion that belonged to his Aunt Faye was Brandon’s passion. Wanting to search through all that she left within the cluttered basement his goal. But, first Brandon had to obtain the keys to what he hoped was a room filled with treasures.
Asking the one person that handled her finances to allow him into the basement was fruitless. Stating that everything within this room was boxed, catalogued and earmarked for someone or someplace. Most would go to a charity chosen by his Aunt and the rest would be dispersed according to her wishes. Had she wanted Brandon to see what she had accumulated over the years she might have placed a note about it in her will. But, Brandon along with his two friends Sarah and Stephen were determined to find a way. But, sneaking into the house after purloining the keys in a very clever manner, the three friends will find themselves entering a world they never knew existed except in history books and reliving some of the events as they are transported back in to the 1965, New Orleans.
Brandon is quite inquisitive and as they explored the basement of his aunt’s house they found many interesting things dating back to 1965 including a suit of armor, stuffed animals and first edition books. What would you do with a first edition of Gone with the Wind signed by the author? As the explored the stacks and the entire room they came across a small recess or niche in the wall. Along with Brandon came his friends Stephen and Sarah who at first were hesitant about even entering the house but their loyalty and friendship to Brandon won out as they come closer to the niche. Searching for something and wanting to live his dream, Brandon has photo in his hand from 1965 and as he approaches this niche something happens and the next thing they know they are all in Aunt Faye’s house in New Orleans.
But, when Faye enters the house she has no idea who Brandon is and what happens next will amaze the reader as they begin their exploration of a time period that they have only read about. With Stephen as their resource for information their only concern is how will they get back home, will they find the niche and who will help them. Quinton is the man who was hired to handle his aunt’s finances in the past and the one person who told them they could not enter the house in the present. So, finding him and hoping they can convince him to help them find their way back will not be easy. Just how they did this is quite ingenious as Stephen’s backpack, his trademark that he always has with him has certain books that when Quinton saw the copyright and heard what Stephen had to say, finally believed that they were from the future. Sarah showed him her cell phone; Brandon was floored with the lack of remote controls, the poor pictures on the television and a newspaper article from the future that would explain a blackout that would occur in the past.
They are particularly fascinated by a decorated niche, which upon inspection suddenly transports them back in time to 1965, New Orleans. Hardnosed, impulsive and often speaks before he thinks, Brandon enters into a new world that takes him and his two friends on a journey they will never forget. Entering the Latin Quarter and meeting Quinton 40 years younger, the three friends learn the true meaning of friendship, loyalty, prejudice and distrust as three friends test more than just friendship trying to get back to 2005.
As the three time travelers convince Quinton in the past that Brandon knows him in the future we reenter a world where television programs provided more than must entertainment. Where the Beverly Hillbillies was a top rated show and VHI and MTV were just letters of the alphabet. Remote controls were not invented. Laptop computers and cell phones unheard of and three teens in dire need of finding the Niche in order to get home. But, when they enter Faye’s house in the past the niche is gone and trying to acclimate to where they are was not easy, as Stephen became the target of some tough teens, a nasty storeowner and at times Brandon’s thoughtless remarks.
Driving an Easel, Quinton leads the way to helping them find their way back home but not before warning them that the events in the past better not alter the ones in the future. As Brandon shoots his mouth off, gets in trouble with his friends and does not follow directions when told to stay put. Curiosity might do more than just kill a cat if he does not take heed to the warnings given.
The Edsel was an automobile marque that was planned, developed, and manufactured by the Ford Motor Company during the 1958, 1959, and 1960 model years. With the Edsel, Ford had expected to make significant inroads into the market share of both General Motors and Chrysler and close the gap between itself and GM in the domestic American automotive market. But contrary to Ford’s internal plans and projections, the Edsel never gained popularity with contemporary American car buyers and sold poorly. The Ford Motor Company lost millions of dollars on the Edsel’s development, manufacturing and marketing: Wikipedia: Imagine driving in one of these as the four set off to leave New Orleans for New York and hopefully backtrack to Aunt Faye’s house finding the niche and returning home. But, what will they find when they cross over? Will they find themselves older? Will anyone even realize they were missing?
While getting to know the time period each one of the young teens gets more of an insight into themselves, their fears and Brandon comes face to face with Reginald. Reginald or in the present in 2005, is really his nasty, overweight next door neighbor Jonesy a mean old man who is all alone and hates everyone. But, when faced with him in the past and seeing him being bullied by several teens, Brandon, Stephen and Sarah do more than just come to his aid. Learning the true meaning of friendship, realizing the differences they have might not matter, Brandon even helps Reginald realize he is far from a loser. But, as things happen within the novel the time travelers tend to change some events and what will happen if Reginald comes back with them? What will happen when Quinton realizes who and what he is in the future? With the help of the old Edsel and Reginald they make it back to the house, find the niche and hopefully return home. The history of the time period, the food, the television, the prices and the people they met, this is one experience that they might never forget.
Take a trip back to New Orleans; visit the Latin Quarter, Reginald and Quint as they were back then. Will they get back to the present? Will they ever find the Niche? Would they want to return to the past for more adventures? As Sarah plays peacemaker in between tears and worrying about her mom, Stephen plays historian and solid thinker, Brandon is rash, overzealous and often speaks before realizing what he says, this is one book you just might want to share with kids in school to understand the meaning of friendship, prejudice, understanding and trust.
What would happen if you enter a room, found a small recess within the wall, got sucked in and transported back in time 40 years and you lost your pathway to return? As Brandon, Sarah and Stephen meet Jonesy in the past, Quinton and many more their actions change many things in the present but are they for the good? “ To the Young Who Believe and Who Search: Speak the Dream and Breach the Boundary: Join these three teens as they use the niche to help them find whatever they are searching for. An ending that will surprise you and an author that created a novel that definitely requires more adventures for these three teens, more life lessons to be learned and more fun for readers to join them if they decide to return to: Back to the Past!
Here by Mistake: That Depends on who you ask? The food, the music, the sports, the television programs, no remotes, no cells, the technology of the present that they lacked in the future are all shared in this remarkably heartwarming and hilarious novel. But, honestly: Howard Johnsons and Beignets: Real nostalgia: Real Southern comfort treats.
Let’s give this book: FIVE TASTY BEIGNETS that our time travelers relished and ate while back in the past and one extra one for this reviewer in the present.