Jack Finney’s book, Time and Again, is one that Stephen King wrote about in the afterword section of his great book 11/22/63. He said that he had inspiration from Jake Finney, who he says was one of America’s great fantasists and storytellers. He said of “Time and Again”, that in his humble opinion it was THE greatest time travel story. This book, “From Time To Time”, is the sequel. It helps a lot to have read the first book and even so this one is not as good.
Simon Morley while involved in secret government time-travel project, transported himself back to the New York City of 1882. The first book ends when Simon marries Julia and decides to stay in the 19th century.
The sequel starts with Simon curious as to what is going on in the late 20th century and his returning to find out. This time he uses a bench by the Brooklyn Bridge to go back. He takes gold coins planning to change them to dollars. He is found shortly after returning by Ruben Prien, who worked on the old project and still believes that the present can be changed if someone can go back and change the past.
Rubin has a plan that he wants Si to attempt. He believes that World War 1 can be prevented, and that the world would then become “the best and happiest time the human race ever knew.” Si agrees to try, and then goes to 1912 to find a man referred to as Z who was sent, by both Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, to go to England with messages that will prevent war.
Si's spends time spent looking for Z in dance halls and vaudeville shows seems like it will never end , and it seems at times to distract from the plot. Si met a young lady on his first day back, they go to dinner and then see a show. She just keeps showing up in his search. He refers to her as the Jotta Girl because the popular dance of the day has the word Jotta in it. He doesn’t realize that Rubin didn’t trust him so he sent this young lady, who had also worked on the time project, back to shadow him.
Si finally learns more about Z from someone he finally meets at one of the shows, but it seems to late. He decides to try one more time and goes to where the Titanic is being built, hoping to delay it or to find a way to save the ship from sinking, so that the messages being carried can get through.
When he boards the ship and finds the Jotta Girl, he knows who she is, and that she was asked to follow him again. They together attempt to change the past but it doesn't work.
The Jotta Girl returns to the 20th century and Si to the 19th century to be with Julia and his family.
Jack Finney wrote The Body Snatchers FYI