#Review #NetGalley #ByThisTimeTomorrow
Jessica Bay has it all – and it’s all too much. Between moody teenagers, a hectic job and a husband who can recall that the last time they slept together was 632 days ago but somehow can’t remember to put the bins out, Jess is close to breaking point.
Desperate for change, she moves the family to a tiny island in the English Channel. An island that has a secret: it can take you back in time to relive any day in your past. To have another go at doing it right.
But as Jess becomes dizzy with the fact that she can, she forgets to consider if she should. Because changing even one moment in your past will change your whole future in unknowable ways. How much of her supposedly imperfect life is Jess willing to gamble? And will she realise the risks before she loses everything?
Time traveller books are like buses, you don’t get any for ages then you get two together! This book is the second book in a row that I’ve read which has a “time-traveller” theme. It’s the first book that I’ve read by this author but won’t be the last. The theme was completely unexpected, but I became hooked into the storyline very quickly! Dr Jessica Bay has been asked to relocate to the little Island of Forth, situated in the English Channel near to Guernsey, to replace a retiring GP there. Her family all have their own issues back in London, so they decide to give island life a try. When there, Jessica finds a bench up on top of a cliff which appears to have magical properties. It you are sat on the bench when the sun sets, you can wish yourself away to any other day in your life, perhaps to relive some precious moment or to do things differently so that the day could be a better day!
I loved this book! I didn’t expect it to be like it was, especially as I’d just finished another similar book, but it was such a lovely read! I loved Jessica’s character and could completely connect with her. She’s a busy GP who, thanks to misreading the signs with another GP in the surgery, finds herself contemplating life away from London. I liked her husband, Fergus (or Freddie, which ever you feel happier with!) but initially felt he just wasn’t right for her. Life on the Island seemed surreal – no big shops, no way off the island other than the boat and everyone knows everyone – but it also appeared strangely tempting! You would never think a city family such as the Bays would be able to settle somewhere so quiet and isolated, but I loved how everything seemed to come together as the book moved on.
The story has some great supporting characters, such as Nora, Maggie and Eileen and I don’t think there was any character in the book who I didn’t like. Jessica and Fergus not only provided some great fun moments, making me laugh but also some tender and emotional times which had me on the verge of tears. The “travelling back in time” storyline was written wonderfully, very uncomplicatedly and easy to understand. I loved how you could choose where you wanted to go back to but worried my way through the story that the ‘timey-wimey’ stuff would change things drastically back in Jessica’s present time!!
What would I have done though if I knew that the bench could do that? I honestly don’t know, but I do know that we were treated to a beautifully written story about second chances, regrets and family life. I loved every minute of this book, and thankfully I don’t need time travel to be able to go back and read it all over again! Would recommend!
Contrary to the impression her novel might give, Charlotte Butterfield loves her life just as it is. A former magazine editor, she was born in Bristol in 1977 and studied English at Royal Holloway. She moved to Dubai by herself on a one-way ticket with one suitcase in 2005 and left twelve years later with a husband, three children and a 40ft shipping container. She now lives in the Cotswolds, where she is a freelance writer and novelist. Her first novel won a Montegrappa award at the 2016 Emirates Festival of Literature, and she went on to publish three romantic comedies with One More Chapter (previously Harper Impulse). By This Time Tomorrow is her fourth novel, and the first published by Hodder & Stoughton.