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68. Why Do Time Travelers Like to Romanticize the Past? | Come Back to Me with Jody Hedlund

Stories can help readers explore the past in new ways, often showing how history points to ultimate happy endings.
Fantastical Truth on Jun 29, 2021 · 3 comments

What if your father drank a vial of holy water that might have come from the Tree of Life? Then you researched his work, and found yourself waking up in the Middle Ages—just as the peasants began revolting? Novelist Jody Hedlund explores this in Come Back to Me, book 1 of her fantasy-romance-time travel series The Waters of Time, and we will explore this with her in today’s episode.

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Introducing Come Back to Me

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight, comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Introducing Jody Hedlund

Jody HedlundJody Hedlund is the bestselling author of more than thirty historical novels for both adults and teens, including Come Back to Me, and is the winner of numerous awards, including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Awards. Jody lives in Michigan with her husband, busy family, and five spoiled cats. She loves to imagine that she really can visit the past, although she’s yet to accomplish the feat, except via the many books she reads.

Learn more about, and explore Jody Hedlund’s Readers Room on Facebook.

Questions we explore:

  1. Why do historical fiction fans enjoy romanticizing the past?
  2. What risks do we face when time-traveling, via magic water or other means?
  3. How can time-traveling readers show honor and love for the true Time Lord?

Episode sponsors

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“Notleia” wrote about our show notes for episode 67:

I think a large part of the problem is that a lotta people in this subculture have trouble distinguishing between “descriptive” versus “proscriptive.” Which makes sense because there have been countless denominational and church splits over what, exactly, is descriptive vs proscriptive in the Bible itself. (At least they come by it honestly?)

Next on Fantastical Truth

Christians talk a lot about “backsliding,” that is, doubts or struggles with our faith. Often the stories we share reflect characters who do the same. But how can Christian-made stories best explore this challenge, moving past cliches and shallow pictures of “backsliders” and showing more realistic images of people who fall back from faith but find restoration in Jesus? We’ll explore this especially after recent controversies with Mary Magdalene’s character in The Chosen, and share our favorite stories of backsliding characters!

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Lorehaven explores fantastical stories for God's glory: fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond.

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    In the Fantastical Truth podcast from Lorehaven, hosts E. Stephen Burnett and Zackary Russell explore fantastical stories for God's glory and apply their wonders to the real world Jesus calls us to serve.
    1. notleia says:

      Nostalgia seems to be a universal weak point in the human psyche, but it’s probably worth parsing through what worked back in the good ol’ days, what didn’t work, and what is purely rose-colored bullhonk.

      Like marriage in the medieval period was about property and alliances, not about personal feelings. One family forked over a young, fertile female member as a broodmare for another family in exchange for whatever perks were agreed upon. Courtly love was about feeling jealous over an already-married woman: or

      But on the other hand, peasants in the medieval period, while property of their fief-lord, did not have to work constant 40-hour work weeks with only Christmas and maybe Thanksgiving guaranteed off, with only a piddly half-hour for lunch. Christmas lasted TWELVE WHOLE FRICKIN DAYS and I guarantee you they did not have any people throwing tantrums about not being able to return gifts for cash without receipts.

    What say you?