SECOND OPINION: The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

Review published on September 9, 2018.

Time travel is something that absolutely fascinates me. It’s such a thrilling idea, being able to travel to the past or future. So, you can imagine that any book that features time travel appeals to me immensely and when I heard about The Psychology of Time Travel I was hooked straightaway. The beauty of the cover was just an added extra.

The book begins in 1967 with the four pioneers: Margaret, Lucille, Grace and Barbara. They are scientists who are inventing a time machine and they’re on the verge of changing the world. We don’t return to 1967 after this, but we do travel around the years, mainly with Ruby, Barbara’s granddaughter, and Odette, a young woman who discovers something that changes her life.

There are some wonderful characters in this book. Ruby and Odette are two wonderful women, very brave and determined. But I also loved Barbara and Grace. Something happens to Barbara in 1967 which takes her away from her beloved time travel, but she remains the clever woman that she was. And Grace is really quite fabulous and cryptic.

My particular favourite bits are where the past and future collide, where a mother can meet her grown up daughter from the future whilst thinking about what her young daughter in the present will have for tea. It’s the sort of thing that has my jaw dropping as I try to process it. And then there are the parts where tears sprang into my eyes as people made contact with those they had lost.

Time travel is very much a part of life in this book and yet it’s not overused, not everyone does it. This makes it both unique and yet commonplace.

The author has done an amazing job with this book. How she plotted it and put it all together I do not know but she’s achieved something very special. I read this book with a sense of awe, for the fabulously complex plot, the villain of the piece, the heroines, and the emotions.

This is a book about women, celebrating their intelligence, their astuteness. Men feature but there are few of them and they take a back seat. It’s quite clear that the author intended to showcase women with this book and good on her, I say!

I simply cannot do justice to this book in my review. All I can suggest is that you read it yourself. There’s a mystery surrounding a death at the heart of it and lots and lots of time travel. What more could you possibly want?

Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes 5/4

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas
Head of Zeus 9781788540100 hbk Aug 2018


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