The premise of this book is that an historian is sent back to the Middle Ages to do some research. As the Middle Ages are a '10' (presumably meaning they haven't been declared safe) the project is rushed through while the head of faculty is away. This of course leads to mistakes being made. So instead of sending our heroine back to the relatively safe 1320s, they miss by 20 years and send her to the outbreak of the Black Death (a far more interesting time from an historical standpoint, I would have thought).
So, I liked the book because
☼ it was an interesting idea for a story
☼ Kivrin was a person and not a cardboard cut out, she had her compassion and her fear
☼ I enjoyed her acceptance of her situation and her attempt to save the village in the foreknowledge of what was about to happen
What I didn't like so much
☁ the events in the future seemed rather contrived
☁ the author hadn't done enough research: the descriptions of Oxford seemed like they had been taken from a 1950s movie, and cholera did not exist in the Middle Ages (I wouldn't have picked that up myself had I not read the introduction but the slip is unforgiveable given the amount of times the author mentions it during the story)
☁ the 12 year old boy (I forget his name) seemed much older.
Despite my criticisms, I really enjoyed the book. It was well paced and the scenes in the Middle Ages were quite involving. However, I don't think it deserves its awards. I've given it a four star rating for pure entertainment value and I will be looking into reading more from Connie Willis.