In the Fullness of Time by Katherine P. Stillerman is an inspiring work of historical fiction, and the sequel to Stillerman’s eloquent first novel, Hattie’s Place. In the first novel, Hattie tries to make her way through early 1900s South Carolina, dealing with sexism, and especially children’s rights, or lack thereof in the early century. In this novel, the concentration is again on rights: specifically, the suffrage movement, and the right to vote.
It may seem strange to call a work of historical fiction “prescient,” but the novel has larger implications given the current historical moment. Given the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, the book has a different historical weight than if she won. As such, it is tailor made for the current times. There are many parallels between the two eras that readers will find fascinating and recognizable.
One criticism of the book is that it reads more like biography than historical fiction. Indeed, the subtitle of the book, “One Woman’s Story of Growth and Empowerment,” sounds very much like non-fiction. That said, even as a fictionalized biography, it is a stirring and inspirational read, as Hattie is such a multi-layered and interesting character – at once a force of nature and very human. In the Fullness of Time is a wise and sweet book, much like its main character.