To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is one of those books that came Highly Recommended, yet it took years before I actually got a copy to read. Was it life-changing? Not really: it was a fun read, but I found myself getting a little tired of (and confused by) the discussions of the nets and continuum and incongruities.
Ned's adventures as a time-traveler, mostly to either Coventry or church sales, to find a relic of the original Coventry Cathedral for Lady Schrapnell (wonderful name, no?) are interrupted because he is seriously suffering from time-lag, a version of jet-lag. Sent to the Victorian Era for some rest and recuperation, as well as to return something back to that era that should not have been capable of being brought through the nets to the late 21st century. That something confuses Ned, but he quickly realizes it's the lost (presumed drowned) cat of Tossie, a rather silly product of that age.
Tossie's "cousin" Verity is actually Ned's contact there, and the two of them do everything they can to return this line of history to its proper settings. I figured out who Tossie's "Mr. C" was long before it was officially revealed, but that's mostly because Verity (whose surname, Kindle, made me wonder whether Jeff Bezos has read the book) is enamored of the Golden Age Mysteries and keeps referring to Lord Peter and Hercule Poirot, among other detectives.
I understand the appeal of the book, but there was sometimes a little too much going on.