This unusual book questions the reality of time and place, and our ability to ever really know what is real. It is told from the point of view of Greta Wells, the surviving twin of a brother who died too young. Part of her attempt to recover from her depression is to undergo convulsive shock therapy. but rather than reawakening in her doctor’s office, she finds herself in her apartment, but in 1918. She’s still herself, with the same family members. This is a different version of her life.
She repeats this reawakening again, this time in 1941, just before Pearl Harbor. And in every version she makes choices that begin to affect the entire web of time and place. her depression is real and profound, and in every time for a different reason.
It is almost impossible to capture true sadness; it is a deep-sea creature that can never be brought to view. I say that I remember being sad, in truth I only remember mornings when that person in bed — the person in which I was contained — could not wake up, could not go to work, could not even do things that she knew would save her, and instead did only what was bound to destroy her. ~Pg. 13
Greta engages in the adventure, but she also finds time for introspection.
What was most wonderful about my journeys, I now believe, was that I alone could appreciate the beauty of those worlds. None of the ordinary people in 1918 found flickering gaslight quaint or beautiful, or saw the old Dutch market houses as anything but eyesores; to them, the world was both falling apart and coming together all too much. In 1941, as well, for those people it was all too modern and too old. The old billboard and funny metal sounds of life, the way that women flounced their skirts, and how man were always removing and replacing their hats, things that are gone forever; it was nothing to them. ~Pg. 65
As Greta cycles through these three worlds, she learns that her “other selves” are suspicious and jealous of her. When she enters their timeline, they move also. And while she tries to “fix” things in one place, a jealous Greta attempts to unravel it in another.
This is a wholly original book. Unlike some more technical science fiction, it is entirely easy-to-follow as Greta bounces from one timeline to another. It is barely about the physics of it all. Instead, the book focuses on character and consequence.
Many thanks to Ecco for the review copy. The paperback of this title will be released on April 15.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Ecco; First Edition edition (June 25, 2013)
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Ecco (April 15, 2014)