Monday, July 9, 2012
Of Time and Place
Of Time and Place
Author: BR Freemont
The year is 2060 and many of the technological advances that the Federal Energy Department put in place are not as advance as you might think. Passengers ride trains filled with litter and dirt and many of the bus-carted passengers are forced to ride poorly maintained vehicles in order to get to and from work. As our main character is introduced the reader hears the voice of James Lenderman as she awaits the tram to return to the rooming house where he is staying. Moving to Savannah he relates the many changes that have occurred none for the better. The company that runs the tram won’t run it unless the passenger count reaches ten. Arriving at Mrs. Pinckney’s house where he is staying you meet his woman who is not only intelligent, curious and alert but quite colorful in her own right. She is definitely curious about James and what he does which she thinks is not much. James has many secrets let’s start by flashing back to where it all begins and learn more about his job at the Department of Energy, how they operate and the meeting that would change his life. Describing his new job and telling how he got it we meet Kate Hastings his new boss as Assistant Secretary. She is powerful, stark, and staunch and definitely has her own ideas on how she wants things done. Motivated to rise to the top and get the ear of the President she will stop at nothing to fulfill her goals. His new job is to find out everything about how the oil shale reserves are being used all over the world and learn the weak points, the misconceptions and much more dealing with our foreign oil suppliers and oil producing countries in order to benefit the United States. The author sets the stage for what will happen next as we learn more about her plan to change the energy police of the our country.
The author flashes to the year 2061. Working as a contractor for the government he is now approached by two men asking him to take a position on the Regional Energy Council in order to assist them in helping the council to operate more effectively. As he ponders the offer and before we learn his decision the author once again flashes back to 2053 and his new position in this woman’s office. She is concerned about the oil shale land leases and the FEC decisions, administrative rules and oil shale usage. But, there are some side plots that come into play as James and Kate’s assistant develop a relationship that is both stark, organized and definitely not filled with tons of sparks. In the present he has a young college student that works as a lap dancer and her goal is to make sure he gets one from her.
Working for the Regional Council and attending a meeting you can tell that he is quite intelligent, prepared and definitely an asset. In the past we are privy to meeting which he, Kate and one other person prepared for in order to present their findings on the oil shale resources to the Merton Commission. The end result would prove to not only the reader, the Merton Commission but to James that she is one force that you do not want to reckon with.
In the present the developer whose plans do not meet the guidelines set by the Federal Energy Department approaches him and this man tries to convince James to help bring his plans up to code. Meeting with his two bosses on the Regional Council they approve James working with this man hoping it will benefit them too. Back to the past we learn that this job and what Kate wants done is top secret as James suggest going to the State for the needed help. Allocations of public storage would prevent them from getting other projects so she wants him to find out more about their energy trading partners and possibly convince them in any way shape or form even strong arming them to give up more of their oil to the U.S. Repositioning our energy policy in order to get a better share of the world’s energy output is her goal by getting “a deep intelligence assessment of petroleum productivity usage in several countries and assessments of the political weakness and strengths.” More than just a tall order to say the least. When James suggests he enlist the help of a friend in the State Kate comes up with a counter plan to see if he can be trusted.
For anyone that is interested in how the government works concerning our oil reserves, federal regulations and how to keep our country Green you might want to read this book. But, things heat up between Kate and James and then he decides to settle down with Jane. Their relationship is not the usual as they now have a son and when visited by his friend Steve what transpires will definitely make you wonder just what kind of person she really is, why she feels she needs to break loose and the end result might surprise the reader. Jane seems so stiff and staunch but what happens on an evening with Steve and his girlfriend will definitely change the complexion of their marriage as James and Jane had moved to San Francisco in order to get a promotion.
The book flashes back from the 2050’s to the 2060’s until the past finally collides with the present and Kate’s plan for the government comes out. Just how much pressure can they put on these countries to give them more of their oil reserves and seem like we are giving them something in return? What does China need? What about Russia? She does not want to strong-arm them but what is the final result? What did the Russians want to know about China? What does it have to do with his trip to Vienna with Kate? The truths would come out and lies and deceits too as the FED is not in the loop and the State and Defense are on point. Who is working for or against what he is trying to do? Who can be trusted? But, then something happens to break this wide open as the Chinese exploded a dirty bomb to stop the Russians. Worried about Jane he called her and the thought that San Francisco would remind everyone of 9/11 and turn into another ground zero is brought to light by the author. As the past comes to the present and Kate snaps her fingers and he comes running. Then tragedy sets in and his wife disappears with his son and Kate needs his support when she becomes ill. But, when all is said and done she returns to her the FED in an even higher position. She seems fixated on James even though he is married and although he still should honor his vows he does move on in many different ways. As Kate once again enters into the picture receives a nomination and job as Deputy Secretary for Energy Policy and once again has an idea that she want to bounce off of James.
But, when the end comes for Kate things change drastically for James. When the final outcome comes into play you will learn what happens to him, his job, his family and his new beginning. One woman who would greatly influence the lives of so many but mainly one man who would never fail her and would honor her even in death. The final result you have to read for yourself. Where James winds up and what he learns about his wife and son are tragic? Of Time and Place takes the reader across many countries, cities, towns but somehow always winding up in Savannah, Washington and the final outcome will surprise you. Who finally wins his heart? All Kate wanted to do was improve the economy by securing a reasonable energy supply for the U. S. Think about the energy crises of this century and others. Think about what she was trying to do. Think about that the time and place do not matter when the situations remain the same. Moving across continents and allowing the reader to visit Vienna, Florence and many other places you meet James debating where his life is going and take the journey with him, Kate, Jane, Jacqueline and many others to every time and place that he visited and you decided the final outcome. Will there ever be a way to make a viable US economy? What is the future for us? These are the many questions the author leaves with this reviewer.
Fran Lewis: reviewer