I’m in awe about this book
Wow, I’m in awe about this book. I had this novel on my TBR list as many of my friends recommended it but kept it there because I’m not a fan of time travel. Now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read it as I absolutely loved it.
Texas, 2010. When Karen Stephens listens to a song in a TV commercial, she is inexplicably drawn to the singer. Judy Paige was a teen star whose song One Day You’ll Leave Me topped the music charts in 1964. As Karen becomes obsessed with the singer, a strange man approaches Karen offering to arrange a meeting. Only that Judy Paige has been dead for twenty years…
This is a heartfelt love story disguised as a time travel novel. Don’t take me wrong, the time travel parts of the plot are essential to the story but, in a way, it’s an excuse to tell a love story that transcends time and overcomes the impossible. The plot is extremely clever and it tricks the reader into thinking that it’s going in one direction just to suddenly veer in the opposite one. It’s intelligent, it’s poignant, it’s heartbreaking and it’s hopeful. A textbook example of a roller-coaster of emotions.
In direct contrast to this collection of powerful feelings, the narrative style is sprinkled with wit, social criticism and a sardonic sense of humour. Karen’s direct experiences in the 1960s as a traveller from the future feel authentic as they cover in detail different sensory aspects: what people used to eat, drink, smoke, the music they listen to, courtship rules, sexual behaviour and much more. These experiences aren’t tinted by a nostalgic view. Neither for the 1960s nor for the 2010s. The author picks up the good and the bad for each era, not without a sense of humour:
“Why don’t you just text him?”
“Do what? Test him? Test him for what?”
“No. No…telephone. I meant…phone him, you know telephone him. There’s a booth right outside.”
“And how am I supposed to phone him when I don’t know where he is?”
Darn the past is hard.
These bits of humour balance the angst and makes the reading experience very enjoyable. I personally would have preferred more page time spent in the romance itself but I get that this isn’t that type of book. This is a novel about love transcending the boundaries of time, a story about soul mates and strong bonds, so I understand that it couldn’t get fluffy. It’s more about the love that remains after the throes of passion.
This is a truly underrated book by an underrated author. If you are looking for a romance story that travels through time and keeps you guessing until the end, I cannot recommend it more. Besides, who can resist that title? 5 stars.