What If They Knew

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
518 Pages
Reviewed on 01/28/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

What If They Knew by T R Hendrick is a brilliant meld of historical and political themes in a thriller, a novel that invites the reader into a discussion on the documents that define the American states. In writing that is beautiful and fluid and evoking historical characters and important historical moments in American history, the author takes readers back into the defining moment of American history when the constitution was drawn up. The founding fathers are sure they are doing the right thing in drafting the four documents of the constitution. That is in the past. But given the reality of the political arena today, it seems like they missed a lot of things. In an age where the people depend so much on the government and when there is a lot of controversy with regards to state laws and much divisiveness, there is the crying need to rewrite these binding documents and to do them right. But what might the documents look like had the founding fathers known that the political landscape would turn out to be what it is now?

T R Hendrick tells a story and invites readers to revisit history, and he does so with intelligence, bringing to life people of American history, revisiting the birth of the country and compelling readers to think about the political reality of contemporary America. It is intelligently plotted and the characters are well explored. The book is filled with political and social commentaries and it gets readers feeling as though they are part of the nation-building. I love the fluidity in the prose, the rich historical references, and the deft handling of literary techniques that help to move the story forward. This is a unique book with a unique style of writing.

K.C. Finn

What If They Knew is a work of time travel, political historical fiction, and modern social commentary, and was penned by author T. R. Hendrick. The book takes on the premise that the founding fathers - who authored the four major documents by which modern American life is still governed – are given the opportunity to use time travel to walk in the modern world and see the results of their policy and law-making. Through the various shocks and horrors which they see, the result is rewriting the Constitution and a rebuilding of the America which they foresaw all those years ago.

For those interested in observing, discussing and making their minds up about the nature of American society today and its perceived political and social future, there is much to glean from this interesting read and the ideas that author T. R. Hendrick puts into the work. The invention of the character and temperament of the forefathers was fun to read, and their reactions to modern society can be both astute and comedic throughout the tale. It is difficult to escape the heavy nature of the social commentary and treat this wholly as a novel, but for readers who enjoy a strong balance between fiction and non-fiction, the book is sure to entertain. Many different elements of modern social life are discussed in relation to freedom and the original ideals of America at the birth of its independence. Overall, What If They Knew provides a truly thought-provoking reading experience.

Michelle Robertson

America is in political shambles. The constitution of the United States is not taken seriously, and interpreted differently based on opinion and not what it was meant for. What if you could change that? What if the founding fathers could see how their life-changing document is being treated by the government 250 years after they created it? Is it possible? Can it be done? Dr. Benton and his team of colleagues think it can be done. In fact, they’ve created a way to travel back in time to find the founding fathers and persuade them to alter the document to be more clear to its intent. Will they be able to find these men if they travel back? Will they agree to come to the future to see how much America is in turmoil? How will they react to a time period so diverse from their own?

What If They Knew by T.R. Hendrick is a phenomenal work of historical fiction. The characters within are highly developed and the plot is well played out. The book offers readers the chance to ponder on the idea if America could change if the constitution was written differently. Although the story is fiction, with time travel and fictional characters, the facts within the book about historical dates and people are true and accurate. The way the historical facts and constitutional elements throughout the book are presented gives a reader an excellent mini-course on American history. Anyone interested in American history, science fiction, science, history, and the American Constitution would benefit from reading this book. After the story ends, readers can enjoy and brush up on their knowledge with pages of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Amendments, and the Gettysburg Address.

Christian Sia

What If They Knew by T R Hendrick is a blend of science fiction and historical fiction with strong hints of time travel; a political thriller with a well-imagined setting and a conflict that determines the future of the United States. It is in the year 2025 and a handful of men are troubled by the political landscape in the USA, and blame the polarization in politics to the flaws in the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, The U.S. Constitution, and Amendments to the Constitution (Bill of Rights). It is the belief of some people that if the fathers of the nation were to witness the current political crisis in the country, they’d readily change some of the articles in the documents to prevent the chaos. That is how time travelers Sarah Fleming, Charles Carson, and Paul Tesla are on a mission to go back to a pre-set time in the year 1787, find the respective members of Congress and convince them to visit the year 2025. If this plan works, these Congressmen will alter the documents of the constitution and lay the foundation of a better world, hence changing US history. But will they succeed?

What If They Knew by T R Hendrick is a wonderful book with rich and lively characters. The scientists are about to perfect the art of time travel and change the future from the past. It is rich in history and the writing flows flawlessly. The structure of the novel is unique and I enjoyed the boldness in exploring the themes, the research into US history and a setting that links the past to the future. While this is a highly imaginative work, it showcases the author’s ability to analyze reality, examine complex political situations, and transform difficult communication into dialogues that move the story forward.

Rabia Tanveer

What do you think would happen if the founding fathers of the USA find out the state of the country now? What If They Knew by T. R. Hendrick is a book that gives an interesting insight if this ever happens. Senator “Colonel” Alan Powers may be retired, but he is still as eccentric as ever. It isn’t really a surprise when he hires Dr. Carver Benton to make a transporter for him. However, Senator Powers has no idea that Dr. Benton has some personal plans. He uses it to bring a few of the founding fathers of the USA to the year 2025 and see what they make of the America of the future. Needless to say, these men are surprised by the amount of success they see and the technological advancements they encounter, but what is alarming to them is the debt and the pressure their people will have to go through in the future. What will they do when they get back to their own era? Will they make any changes to the constitution? Or will they let things stay as they are?

This is one of the cleverest and the most interesting plots I have ever read. This is a remarkable historical tale that takes you back in time and into the future so that you experience everything together, yet you never have to worry about having the timelines mixed up. How many times have we read about Sherman or Hamilton and got an insight into their personalities? I have never encountered a novel before that actually made these men human and not some hero who never does anything wrong. They have their own specific personalities and they all have their own duties that they take very seriously. The author added humor and wit to the story to make it even more interesting. I experienced something new, considering the fact that the concept of the founding fathers has been overused a million times. This novel deserves all the kudos it receives! Very original and very entertaining.