Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘time-slip’

Namesake is “captivating” —Ramblings of a Daydreamer

Posted on August 13th, 2013 by pajamapress

“…I thought MacLeod did a really good job of weaving the past together with the present. I always worry that books like this will get confusing with the back and forth, but I had no trouble keeping up with Namesake. I enjoyed watching Jane’s life in the present, and I eagerly anticipated each of her visits to the past, since I’ve always been fascinated with Tudor era England…Namesake is a captivating story that is sure to please fans of contemporary young adult and historic fiction alike.”

—Marie Landry

Click here to read the full review

Namesake is “impressive…fascinating” —Resource Links

Posted on July 22nd, 2013 by pajamapress

“When Jane Grey is given the assignment to research an historic figure, she chooses her namesake, Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen who ruled England between Edward and Mary. But she doesn’t choose to be transported back in time by means of a tiny prayer book which she finds, or rather, which finds her at the public library. Lady Jane Grey is already in the Tower of London, awaiting trial. Although her namesake Jane knows how this will end, she offers her support, and travels back as often as she can. After all, Lady Jane’s faith and loyalty is a beacon of strength in comparison with Jane’s alcoholic mother and inconstant friends…

The historical details of the Tudor monarchy and everyday life in the 1500s are impressive. Kudos to MacLeod for bringing this fascinating slice of British history to Canadian teens…”
—Patricia Jermey

Namesake is “Suspenseful, emotional and powerful.” —Kirkus Reviews

Posted on July 17th, 2013 by pajamapress

“A modern-day Canadian girl named Jane Grey travels back in time to meet the Lady Jane Grey, imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1553.

Bookish Jane is doing research for a paper about her namesake Lady Jane Grey, the 15-year-old who was queen of England for nine days and later executed by Queen Mary. Finding an old prayer book, she reads a prayer out loud and is transported to the Tower of London, where only Lady Jane, who calls her “Namesake,” can see her. Using the prayer book to time travel at will, she becomes friends with Lady Jane and tries to think of a way to save the brilliant and innocent teenager. Meanwhile in the present, Jane tries to escape her alcoholic mother’s increasingly aggressive and bizarre behavior. When the two stories collide just before Lady Jane’s scheduled execution, Jane struggles to save herself and her friend. MacLeod writes the modern sections in a heightened style that almost feels more like poetry than prose. She writes Lady Jane’s dialogue in Tudor English, modifying it only slightly for modern readers. Her vivid descriptions of the filthy turmoil of 1553 London, when even the nobility often had lice, should open some eyes. Most importantly, she strives to get the history right.

Suspenseful, emotional and powerful.”
Kirkus Reviews

School Libraries in Canada interviews Sue MacLeod

Posted on June 6th, 2013 by pajamapress

In their current issue, School Libraries in Canada is exploring bringing the past into the future. How fitting, then, to interview Sue MacLeod, author of the time slip novel Namesake in which a library book does just that.

MacLeod explains how she came to write Namesake:

“It was actually Lady Jane Grey herself who compelled me. I read a book about her when I was ten or so, and she stayed with me. It occurred to me a long time ago – twenty years or more – that I wanted to write about her in a way that would link her story with that of a contemporary girl. So, a young adult time-slip novel emerged as a natural way to approach that.”

Click here to read the full interview.

Canadian Family Magazine features Namesake, a “Great Summer Read”

Posted on May 30th, 2013 by pajamapress

“Past and present collide when a 15-year-old Halifax girl named Jane Grey slips back in time and comes face-to-face with her namesake, who ruled Tudor England for nine days before being imprisoned in the Tower of London. The girls’ bond grows with each of modern Jane’s trips back through time, as she desperately tries to prevent her new friend from meeting a tragic end.—DC

“This book captivated my interest with the connection between the past and the future.”—Alissah, 16, Calgary

Canadian Family Magazine‘s summer issue is on newsstands across the country now! Visit their website at

Namesake Book Launch

Posted on May 26th, 2013 by pajamapress

On Thursday, May 23 a group of book lovers gathered at Another Story Bookshop to celebrate Namesake by Sue MacLeod. There was a lot of positive energy, plenty of insightful questions, and even some bakery-fresh cookies. Thank you to everyone who came out to the launch!

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Namesake

Posted on May 14th, 2013 by pajamapress

“While Namesake may be initially seen as a standard time-slip novel, with a contemporary character going back in time to learn something which she could apply to her own life, the book goes beyond this…

I am especially pleased by the direction the author takes Jane’s time slip, allowing for the two young women, just sixteen, to share their lives and their stories, and Jane anticipating bringing Lady Jane back with her…

The history is true, the twists unique and the touches of humour and romance are heart-warming. And Namesake still delivers an open ending that takes the reader to a more hopeful situation than Lady Jane’s true horrific ending”
Helen K

Click here to read the full post.

Namesake Book Trailer

Posted on April 30th, 2013 by pajamapress

On May 1 Pajama Press is pleased to present Namesake by debut author Sue MacLeod. This time slip novel brings together the very different lives of two girls who share a name: Jane Grey. When Jane from Halifax finds an ancient-looking prayer book, she ends up face to face with the subject of her own history project: Tudor England’s short-lived Lady Jane Grey.

Click the link below to watch the trailer!

Namesake Book Trailer

Having trouble? You can also view the trailer on YouTube.

Debut novel Namesake earns starred Quill & Quire review

Posted on April 20th, 2013 by pajamapress

“In her debut novel, Sue MacLeod successfully accomplishes a feat many more experienced writers struggle with: weaving an historical narrative smoothly into a contemporary storyline. The Toronto author uses the tried-and-true device of time travel to bring together two very different girls who share the same name: Jane Grey.

Modern Jane is a 15-year-old Halifax girl trying to navigate the first few months of high school and a host of typical teen problems, which pale in comparison when she comes face-to-face with a girl whose life is about to come to an abrupt end.

A mysterious prayer book mixed in with a pile borrowed from the library for a school history project throws Jane through a wormhole into the world of her namesake, the doomed 16-year-old who ruled England for nine days in 1553 before her cousin Mary had her imprisoned in the Tower of London and eventually beheaded for treason.

As Jane learns about Lady Jane, both through writing her history project and her friendship with the tragic figure, the reader becomes informed as well, but the knowledge is imparted in a subtle, natural manner. Likewise, MacLeod drops tidbits of Halifax history into conversations and Jane’s descriptions of her hometown. Many books for young readers attempt similar tactics, but rarely are they executed this well.

With surprising clarity, MacLeod also captures the heightened sensitivity of teen interactions. The shifting allegiances and subsequent jealousies that define female friendships and the fickle, temporary nature of teen romance are presented realistically, without the taint of adult judgment.

The real accomplishment, however, is MacLeod’s treatment of Jane’s unpredictable relationship with her (mostly) functional alcoholic mother, Analise. Will it be a good day (“Single Mother as Hero”) or bad (“A Day When Hell Broke Loose”)? Analise is needy, yet takes little interest in her daughter’s life unless it suits her. And she is mean, with a vindictive streak that plays a major role in the book’s climax. Yet she can be loving, and despite Jane’s anger and resentment, ultimately the girl just wants her mother to get help.

It sounds like a lot of ground to cover in one slim volume, and it is, but with sensitivity and some well-placed humour, MacLeod pulls it off.”
Dory Cerny, Q&Q’s Books for Young People editor.