Jake Epping, a recently divorced English teacher, spends a lot of time at a local diner, owned by man named Al, and spends a lot of time just talking with while he is there.
He tells Al of his friend who is dying of cancer because of a lifetime of smoking and they talk about the country. Al shows Jake a wormhole, time portal, in the storeroom that will allow him to go back in time and convinces Jake to use it to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The plan is to go back and spend 5 years carefully learning and, of course, not disturbing the future. When he goes back to 1958 he visits his sick friend, only to find that he and the whole family are heavy smokers even then
Jake takes on a new identity. He is more positive and happy in this new reality. He finds someone he loves, but he continues to wait for the opportunity to change the present, by changing the past.
Partially because I remember those years, but more because of King writing talent, I really felt like I was looking down familiar street. Watching the Oswald family from a rented room across the street, just made you believe you were there looking out the window.
Jake wants to find Lee Harvey Oswald and learn more about what happened. He wonders if Oswald was just a patsy.
The story is one of action, romance, drama, and even some humor. The characters make the story, and the story doesn’t really wander from the historical time line. This is no different than other great novels by Stephen King, you just can’t put it down.
“Life turns on a dime. Sometimes towards us, but more often it spins away, flirting and flashing as it goes: so long, honey, it was good while it lasted, wasn’t it?”
-Stephen King 11/22/63
“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why. Not until the future eats the present, anyway. We know when it's too late." -Stephen King 11/22/63