Jake Epping is a teacher in Maine who is shown a bubble in time by one of his friendly acquaintances, Al. Al is basically trying to recruit Jake to go back in time to stop Kennedy’s assassination. His belief is that this will have a ripple effect that saves millions of lives (including Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy and many American soldiers in Vietnam.) If you step through this bubble, it always takes you to the same point in time in 1958. Every time you go back, it’s a complete reset. Jake eventually decides to do this – live there from 1958-1963 and save Kennedy (and others along the way).
As you can imagine, it’s not simple. The butterfly effect is mentioned throughout the novel – if you change one thing in history it can have many unintended consequences. Both good and bad.
It’s always interesting to think about things in history or even in your own life that you might want to change. But, we really don’t know that these changes would make anything better. It could mean that someone you love ends up dying or it could alter the course of world history. Plus, the past is obdurate and doesn’t want to be changed.
11/22/63 gives you a roller coaster ride of emotions while talking about American history and human nature. I simply loved it. 5/5 stars and highly recommended.