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My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen
My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time begins at the end of the 19th century in Copenhagen, where the central character, Charlotte, is a prostitute. Business has not been going well for her, so she and her friend, Schleswig, agree to clean house for Frau Krak, who has lost one husband and wants to marry another. Rumors abound of mysterious events in Frau Krak's basement where people enter never to return. When Charlotte and Schleswig enter the basement, they are transported via a time machine to 21st-century London, where they find Herr Krak, hiding from his wife. Charlotte learns to adapt in her new environs and falls in love with Fergus. Traveling back and forth in time affords her the best of both worlds, as long as Frau Krak doesn't find or disassemble the time machine. Unfortunately, time travel turns out not to be a perfect science. Liz Jensen's novel has received mostly positive reviews with The Guardian saying, "My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time sweeps us breathlessly across the surface of its tale of dislocation, loss and redemption. It's a bravura performance but - as Charlotte herself might be the first to admit - not quite the real thing."