Time Out of Mind is an immersion in memory

Time Out of Mind is a fictional memoir penned by Kate Fernald,  a woman about 50.

Kate writes about what happened because her father forgot to take his jacket some 40 years before.


Time Out of Mind   by Rachel Field

MacMilllian, 1935. 462 pages. 1935 bestseller #4. My grade: A-.


After Kate’s father’s death, her mother became housekeeper for the Fortunes, a Maine shipbuilding family that refused to adapt to the age of steam.

Living on the premises, Kate was thrown together with the Fortune children, Rissa and Nat.Black type on red ground: Cover of "Time Out of Mind" by Rachel Field

Kate adored Nat, even risking Major Fortune’s displeasure to help Rissa arrange for Nat to play the piano, which their father had strictly forbidden in his attempt to make a man of his son.

When he discovered the children’s deliberate disobedience, the Major sent 11-year-old Nat to sea on the last vessel the Fortune Shipyard built.

Nat had to be carried off when the ship returned a year later.

From then on, enabling Nat to write and conduct music became the focus of Rissa’s life.

Rissa takes Nat abroad, returning only when she needs money. Nat returns because Maine is in his blood.

Kate asserts that chance rules life, but Rachel Field’s story shows clearly the role choice plays in events.

Field leaves nothing to chance in her management of the plot or her depiction of character.

Time Out of Mind is not just a book. It’s an immersion in memory.

 © Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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