Melissa Baron. Twice in a Lifetime. Alcove Press, 2022. pp. ISBN $17.99
Time is just a construct, and this romance combines elements from one of my favorite novels, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger with remnants of The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver. In this poignant story, Isla, on a sort of retreat from a very hard year, gets a text message from a stranger who seems to know her (and of her struggles with depression). Ewan seems to think he is her husband–or will be–and wants to save her from a fate he’s unwilling to disclose. The development of their relationship and the mystery behind what they are to one another made this unputdownable. Savvy readers will guess earlier than I suspected; I am not generally a fan of mystery, because I want to be entertained and lose myself in my reading, rather than figure things out. The tension was wonderfully drawn out, the romance sweet (if on lighter side) and the letdowns piercing. Excellent plotting, pacing, and character development… and a very satisfying conclusion.
Sidenote: The ARC was one of those annoyingly vertical formats where a slip of the thumb sent me back to the beginning of the book, and like rock-climbing I had to book mark each chapter as I went so I could easily find my place again. This is a HUGE pain in the tookus, so I have to really love a book from the get-go to stumble through this painful process of reading it.
I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #TwiceInAlifetime from #NetGalley.