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The Ministry of Time

"When a secret service agent is assigned to a ‘time immigrant’ – an Arctic Explorer from 1847 – she risks everything by falling in love with him"

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Oh my God. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. (Pun intended?) 

Another writer could have had this already brilliant and inventive take on the time travel idea (that a time machine could be used to transport strangers from the past into the present, and if that was done by the government, mightn’t they use an agent to assist/monitor that ‘time immigrant’?) but Bradley has then embedded this within rich multifaced layers – an aching love story, a shocking thriller, and an incisive exploration of ‘modern’ politics, with no lazy answers about what it is to be a multi-faceted person working for a secret part of a government in an age whose actions decide the future (and past?) of the climate crisis, nationhood, colonialism, technology, weaponry, wars. 

And it’s written masterfully, in such deft, playful prose, so that on a structural and line level it’s constantly surprising and captivating. Bradley absolutely delivers on the comic and philosophical potential of a group of figures from different eras discovering a modern era together – their dialogue is a masterclass in writing historical language, and the scenes of the crew bonding over drinks in Soho or trips to galleries are brilliantly witty and heartwarming in equal measure. 

I swooned over Commander Graham Gore, a man who would have died in 1847 in a doomed expedition to the Arctic. I had to cover my face in the park as I was crying so much at this tender, lovely, impossible romance. GOD. 

Like the millions of other more impressive authors blurbing this book, I was recommending it to friends before I’d finished the third chapter, and now I’ve finished it, will continue to do so with even more obsession in my eyes.

Lily Lindon

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