This novel tells the story of Jake Epping, a divorced high school teacher, who becomes a time traveler on a mission to stop the Kennedy assassination. It begins with Jake reading and becoming attached to a story, written by a student in his adult GED night-class, about his father murdering his mother and siblings when he was a child. Soon after, Jake discovers a way to go back in time. The traumatic past story from his student becomes a present goal to amend and helps Jake unlock the rules and consequences of time travel before he attempts his main mission of preventing the assassination of Kennedy. As Jake attempts to change the future by inserting himself in past events, he realizes that “time” does not want to be changed and the stronger the difference an event makes in history, the stronger “time” fights against Jake trying to alter it.
This book had me cringing, waiting to see what “time” was going to do to stop Jake, constantly questioning whether he will succeed and how the future will be if he does stop the Kennedy assassination -what all rippling effects will occur. For anyone who reads Stephen King and expects a good scare, this is not THAT type of book, but that does not mean this novel will not keep you on edge. When I read 11/22/63 I thought back to works like The Green Mile; books that were not scary, but unnerving just the same.
One other thing: If you are able to take a look at the cover art, I suggest doing so. On the front cover is the news page with the headline, “JFK SLAIN IN DALLAS, LBJ TAKES OATH” and continues with the legible article. Whereas on the back the alternate headline reads, “JFK ESCAPES ASSASSINATION, FIRST LADY ALSO OK!” and also continues with a legible half article. I just found it interesting to read.