Bellwether(1996) Connie Willis
Well this is easy. Connie Willis is one of my very favorite authors. I stumbled upon her when I found To Say Nothing of The Dog. It was a real gem. Full of the fun of time travel and a little bit of a love story. Then on to the Doomsday Book, Blackout, and All Clear.
Bellwether is not in this time travel series. Fear not – it is still in the “fun” series. Dr. Sandra Foster is a researcher for Hi-Tek company where she is studying fads. She wants to find the origin of fads such as hair bobbing. The goal is a serious one – if you know what causes fads maybe you go prevent the toxic ones from happening. The whole thing is a take on Robert Browning’sPippa Passes(Check it out). The Pippa in this book is a glorified mail clerk named Flip who unconsciously drives the plot. Meanwhile “Love is in the air” between Dr. Foster and her colleague Dr. Riley and a flock of contrary lambs. I can be pretty cynical but not with Connie Willis who is the real deal. Very thoughtful, put together stories that combine a bit of sci fi, some great characters, and a lot of fun. Do NOT stop!