Time and Regret is the story of two people – Grace and her grandfather Martin. Grace is trying to move on after a depressing divorce. While cleaning out her house, she stumbles upon a box addressed to her. The box belongs to her grandfather and contains a letter addressed to her. Eventually she embarks on a journey (to France) tracing Martin’s life as a WWI soldier and figures out the secret he conveys in his letter.
Though the story started off with a cliché setting – lost diary chronicling war experiences, but it progressed in the right direction. Thankfully the history part of the book was set in the lesser explored period of WWI. Martin’s experiences from the memoir are kind of surprising and interesting in a gruesome way. Obviously, the writer has done her research well. The plot as such was well paced, but kind of fizzled out at the end. In a sense, the climax was perfect just that it wasn’t really emotionally intense. The writing was perfect and I loved the style. The tone of writing felt a bit raw, but that is actually the highlight of this book. In fact, I’m not the type to mark down notes from the book to use it later in review, but somehow I felt compelled to mark down this particular quote –
“If the newspapers reported the truth, if they wrote about the mud and filth and the body parts littering the ground and how young men look old before their time, would we still be here?”
That’s hard hitting truth. If we were to know about war atrocities chronicled with all the gruesome detail, would any faith in humanity be left?
The timeline shift between the 90s and WWI period was done with much care. The writer managed to add all elements – drama, romance, mystery; and politics in the right proportion. The characters were quite complex and well developed. The highlight being they were all relatable except for Cynthia’s character (grace’s grandmother). Grandparents are supposed to be lovable and supportive, but Cynthia sounded just so difficult. I suppose the writer gambled a bit with this character. The highlight however was Grace’s character. She has her fair share of insecurities yet she is likeable, realistic and strong willed. With perfect narration, spot on characterization and a great setting, this book was one perfect read.
MY SAY: Prefect read for a windy day.
About the Book
GENRE: Fiction - Historical
NUMBER OF PAGES: 353
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of France Book tours.
To know more about the book and to participate in the giveaway hosted by the writer do check out the spotlight post here