Ahoy there mateys! Okay so those old-hands on deck may remember that me introduction to this author was from reading the wrong book, the seven husbands of evelyn hugo. It ended up being me favourite book in 2018. I loved that book so much that I wanted to read some of TJR’s older works. I picked her book about the roads not taken and parallel universes. Yay for sci-fi elements!
So I requested it from the library. After a long waitlist, I began reading said book only to realize that YET AGAIN I was reading the WRONG book. I had clicked the wrong title when I went to request it. Seriously I have problems. Once I figured it out, I then requested the correct book with its even longer waitlist. Since I had already started that wrong book, I figured I would finish it. Of course, eventually me sci-fi TJR book came in. So here be me reviews of both books. Arrrr!
Side note: the book covers come from Goodreads and ye can click on them to add the books to yer Goodreads’ Ports for Plunder List.
So this was the wrong book but enjoyable nonetheless. It did take me a minute to figure out it wasn’t the right one because there are two timelines in this story. Elsie and Ben meet, fall in love, and get married very quickly. Then 9 days after marriage, Ben is hit by a truck and dies. The first story line is about what happens to Elsie after Ben’s death. The second story line is flashbacks into how their relationship progressed. But really the story focuses on Elsie’s healing process and also that of Susan, the mother-in-law who didn’t know she existed. Apparently this was TJR’s debut and I can kinda see that. The elements that I loved about Evelyn Hugo are there but there was a bit more disconnect in this book despite feeling sorry for Elsie. I know life goes on after a death but the book’s ending just tied up a bit too neatly for me. Plus how the couple fell in love and got married was a bit too cheesy. It was a quick and solid read that I wouldn’t have chosen on purpose but no regrets.
“Things happen in your life that you can’t possibly imagine. But time goes on and time changes you and the times change and the next thing you know, you’re smack in the middle of a life you never saw coming.”
This book certainly was the correct one of the two. Another quick read but I was much more attached to the characters. In particular I loved the friendship between Hannah and Gabby. I loved that Hannah was at a loss of what to do with herself and having any life direction (I can still relate). I loved that the defining moment of a fork in the road came down to who Hannah left a party with. The book’s parallel universes were fun because some elements of life were fate driven and others were because of personal choice. It was a nice blend. How certain things, like cinnamon rolls or walks through a park, appear in both paths showcases TJR’s skill. I thought both story lines were compelling and I loved seeing how the similarities and differences worked out. I also enjoyed that TJR played with how Hannah’s outlook on life and personality subtlety changed in each universe. The negative of this story for me came in that the book went on just a little too long. There was a natural stopping point in both timelines that left just enough mystery in what life would entail for Hannah now she was back on track. The author chose to continue beyond that point, especially in regards to Gabby, and there was a philosophical monologue thrown in. Not to me taste but I be very glad I finally read this one.
“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.”
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Previous Log Entries for This Author
the seven husbands of evelyn hugo (Curiosities of the Deep – Historical Fiction)
daisy jones & the six (Off the Charts – Historical Fiction)