Cherry Franklin teaches American History and is in charge of the annual Independence Day pageant. Zachary Somerset is a Colonial soldier. The two literally bump into each other. Zack is dressed in an authentic uniform and Cherry believes he is part of the pageant, though Zack insists otherwise. He tells Cherry that nothing is familiar to him and she thinks he is delusional. When he explains why he's here, she begins to entertain the idea that perhaps he has traveled through time, and enlists the help of her father, who believes time travel is possible, and also happens to be a doctor.
Zack returns to 1776, armed with what is hoped will keep history from changing. However, he accidentally leaves part of his uniform and Cherry decides to try to return it to him. As the two travel between 1776 and the present, their bond becomes stronger as each absorbs the other one's environment. Zack learns to fit into the present, though finds much of it confusing, but Cherry knows she could never live in the past. Zack tells Cherry he loves her, but she won't tell him she feels the same. She's afraid to make a commitment only to have it taken away by the capriciousness of time travel. Though Zack is ready to take a chance that they can both remain in the same time, Cherry must decide if she's willing to do the same, knowing if they can't, she risks a broken heart.
Given that a blurb gives away everything an author wants readers to know beforehand, I won’t delve too far into the plot details. Nevertheless, I found Red, White, and You to be a charming, and thoroughly enjoyable entry.
Here, we have Zack, an eighteenth century Colonial soldier and aide-de-camp to a vital figure in American history during the time of America’s origin. He experiences sporadic episodes of phasing through time. A jump to 2013 brings him into contact with Cherry Franklin, a descendent of Benjamin Franklin – and who experiences the same time traveling phenomenon.
What impressed me with this tale was the depth of insight Ms. Harreld shows in the particulars time travel would, hypothetically, present. The awkwardness the lead characters experience, with extreme cultural and technological differences, are explored realistically, and not summarily dismissed; a trap that would have been easy to fall into. Moreover, the ‘Time Loop’ implication is present, as both characters appear to be familiar with one another, but can’t initially understand from where.
At its core, Red, White and You, is a romance story, which crosses over into . . . what? Is it science fiction? Is it supernatural? Or is it something else? The mystery deepens for Cherry and Zack, as they try to gain an understanding of why this astonishing wonder occurs.
A self-contained story in its own right, the myriad possibilities for a continuation are clear, not to mention – appealing.