June 10th, 2022
I never know how to feel about time travel. I always feel it’s too quirky and complicated. I’m not sure what made me pick up an entire book about it, but I’m glad I did.
| Published: June 2022 by Michael Joseph |
| Genre: Science Fiction / Contemporary |
| Themes: Time Travel, Father/Daughter relationship |
| Length: 320 Pages |
| Age: Adult |
| My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |
Alice Stern isn’t ready to turn forty. She thought she’d have more time to figure it all out. Above all, she thought she’d have more time with her father, Leonard – but he’s lying in a hospital bed and Alice isn’t sure if she’ll hear his voice again.
When she falls asleep outside their old apartment on the night before her birthday, she’s surprised to be greeted the next morning by a much younger Leonard, with a sixteenth birthday card for a teenage Alice who, far from clinging to her youth, is hurtling towards adulthood . . .
Alice soon discovers how she got back here, to 1996 and her sixteenth birthday, and realises she can keep on coming, whenever she chooses.
But faced each time with different versions of her life, and the consequences of her decisions, it’s on her not to lose sight of what she wants most . . .
This reminded me of a few things. About Time, The Midnight Library. It’s a time travel novel with heart, focusing on relationships and life rather than the time travel aspect itself. The balance between science-fiction and contemporary may not work for everyone.
Some will think the time travel element is flawed and unbelievable. But I like how Straub was able to explore Alice’s life choices through. What happens to Alice is a lot of peoples fantasy. To go back with the knowledge of hindsight.
I loved that Straub decided to focus on a father/daughter relationship rather than a romantic one. It makes this book heartbreakingly touching and emotional, and I really felt attatched to these characters. The hospital scenes at the beginning were especially well written.
‘Alice saw it now: all her life, she’d thought of death as the single moment, the heart stopping, the final breathe, but now she knew that it could be much more like giving birth, with nine months of preperation. Her father was heavily pregnant with death, and there was little to do but wait.’
It went down routes I wasn’t expecting, and Alice made choices that didn’t feel wholly in character. But it’s beginning and ending was beautiful. This book was funny and moving, and this was my first Emma Straub book, but it won’t be my last.
Thanks For Reading,