Jake Epping, a 35-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, works part-time as a GED instructor for adults. He receives an essay from one of the students, a gruesome, harrowing first-person account of Harry Dunning's father returning home 50 years ago and murdering his mother, sis... ter, and brother with a hammer. As evidenced by his crooked walk, Harry escaped with a smashed leg.
Jake's friend Al, who owns the local diner, reveals a secret not long after: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake in an insane—and insanely possible—mission to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson, a world of Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy, big American cars and sock hops, a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald, and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes Jake's love—a life that defies all the normal rules of time.
I had been hobbled, perhaps even crippled by a pervasive internet society I had come to depend on and take for granted... hit enter and let Google, that twenty-first century Big Brother, take care of the rest. In the Derry of 1958, the most up-to-date computers were the size of small housing developments, and the local paper was no help. What did that leave? I remembered a sociology prof I’d had in college - a sarcastic old bastard - who used to say, When all else fails, give up and go to the library.
Party lights hang over the street, yellow and red and green. Sadie stumbles over someone’s chair, but I’m ready for this and I catch her easily by the arm. Sorry, clumsy, she says. You always were, Sadie. One of your more endearing traits. Before she can ask about that I slip my arm around her waist. She slips hers around mine, still looking up at me. The lights skate across her cheeks and shine in her eyes. We clasp hands, fingers folding together naturally, and for me the years fall away like a coat that’s too heavy and too tight. In that moment, I hope on thing above all others: that she was not too busy to find at least one good man … She speaks in a voice almost too low to be heard over the music. But I hear her – I always did. Who are you, George? Someone you knew in another life, honey.