Sunday, May 15, 2016

Time After Time by Hannah McKinnon, reviewed by Joanne Baird


Rating: 5 / 5. HarperCollins ebook, release date June 2, pre-order now for just $2 from Amazon.ca hereMore from Joanne Baird here. This review is re-posted from GoodReads.

I love books and films that look at what might have happened if people had made different choices. Films like Sliding Doors and of course, It's A Wonderful Life. Books like Laura Barnett's The Versions of Us and Carmel Harrington's Every Time a Bell Rings. And Hannah McKinnon has written a book which is right up there as one of my favourites.

Hayley is a high flying lawyer working in mergers and acquisitions. She's always loved her job and been very good at it but recently pressure at work has taken over. She's spending more and more time at work, seeing less and less of husband Rick and children Millie and Danny and more time snapping and arguing with them.

After an argument she storms off to best friend Ellen's and over a bottle of wine they do the “what if” chat about Hayley's previous boyfriends. When she wakes the next morning she is horrified to find herself in bed with Chris, her first serious boyfriend. Has she had so much to drink that she has cheated on her husband and can't remember?

Poor Hayley soon comes to realise that she seems to be married to Chris and it most definitely hasn't worked out well. "Am I getting what I asked for? A glimpse into how my life could have been?" Hayley wonders. And when she wakens up over the next few days, she finds she is in a relationship with each of the men she has had serious relationships with. "He said it's Saturday. Dear god, it's like Groundhog Day meets Sliding Doors!"

What’s great fun about this book was that although Hayley can clearly remember all about her real life with Rick and her children, nobody else can in these alternate lives. All the people she loved and cared about are living the alternate lives, too, leading sometimes to really funny situations and sometimes to really heartbreaking ones.

Hayley realising that she’s the leader of a kickboxing class is just hilarious. Finding out what happened to Hayley's friends and family in some of the alternate versions gave me a lump in the throat. Hannah McKinnon is just terrific at making me feel all the emotions along with Hayley.

Time After Time is a book I raced through. Although it moves back and forward in time and different realities, I was never confused as to what part of Hayley's life I was reading about, and whether likeable or not, the characters are all so believable. Hannah McKinnon has created alternative realities for Hayley that are true to life, whether those lives are funny, disappointing or upsetting – "Life was messy, it got complicated. What mattered, Hayley realised, was how you dealt with it."

Hugely enjoyable, a must read for anyone who loves a great romantic comedy story and believes in true love. And a lesson that, as always, you must be careful what you wish for!

Note: Hannah will be one of my guest speakers at the How to Get Published workshop, Saturday, Oct 15, in Burlington. See here

In the meanwhile, you can pre-order a Kindle copy of Time After Time for just $2 on pretty much all the Amazon sites. Check it out on Amazon.ca here. I’ve already ordered mine ~Brian


See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops, writing retreats, and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

1 comment:

  1. Hannah McKinnon's writing flows easily. Her story is compelling and I couldn't put it down. People are always asking themselves the what-if question and as a theme for a book it's both fascinating and entertaining. I liked this story very much and think it's a great read with a lovely romantic ending.

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