- ASIN: B092MVZDVH
- Publisher: Aria (11 Nov. 2021)
- Language: English
- Print length: 385 pages
- Genre: Historical Romance War Story
The BookViral Review:
A novel set along a dual timeline, ‘The time between us’ is historical fiction with a modern twist, a heartbreaking story of near misses, both in love and loss, written with an empathic understanding of human nature.
Lucy, on the cusp of medical school, loses her Grandfather who has raised her. While attending his funeral her boyfriend and best friend betray her. At this crossroads in her life, she makes an impulsive decision to travel to France, to the hometown of the Grandmother she has never met, and of whom her Grandfather seldom spoke.
Meanwhile, rewinding back over 70 years, Elise is turning 16yrs old in a sleepy French town. With her Father dead and her Mother frozen with grief and entirely dependent on her, Elise snatches happiness where she can, most notably in the form of the sophisticated William, a friend of her erratic and irresponsible brother.
At its start, you would be forgiven for believing that this is a love story-and it is -just not in the expected way! Marina McCarron teaches us that feelings and emotions come from a deep place that cannot be switched on, or faked. And that sometimes grief does not pass, and we cannot ‘pull ourselves together’. That hopeful decisions may not be the best ones, but that wonderful things can still rise phoenix-like from the ashes.
Historical and geographical details blend seamlessly with the story, enhancing its authenticity. Every timeframe and location feels real, mirroring the messy and complicated nature of life. The sensitivity with which McCarron deals with war is a testament to her evident forethought-of relationships forged and lost and of the horrific experiences and lasting pain which is its ultimate legacy.
Rather than rely on often repeated language devices, McCarron crafts and embeds her uniquely constructed expressive imagery to best effect, bringing the reader close and at one with the minds of her wonderfully developed multi-faceted characters, which connect to one another like a delicately spun spider’s web across time. Seldom focusing on their physical descriptions, she allows you to know them from their innermost feelings out. For instance, the sensitivity and insight with which McCarron writes the dying thoughts of Hank are both comforting and devastating in equal measure, an expression of sadness, hope and love, drawn deeply from and at one with his character and personality. This passage will bring a lump to your throat but leave you with a deep sense of solace.
McCarron does not tie her story up with a neat bow. Rather, like a basket of wool with many threads which sometimes connect but at other times barely touch, she creates breath holding moments of hope and despair, and more poignantly at its conclusion, leaves the reader on a gentle but promising cliffhanger.
A superbly enjoyable, emotionally mature and insightful 5 star read, ‘The time between us’ is unreservedly recommended!