I am absolutely delighted to be one of the blogs hosting Callie Langridge today, and her debut novel; ‘A Time To Change’, which was published by Bombshell Books on the 24th September. Usually I can write my thoughts about a book no bother, however this novel has left me tongue tied and possible incapable of making any sort of sense. So, if that ends up being the case, I apologise in advance and I hope you like my review regardless!
“I would rather love passionately for an hour than benignly for a lifetime.”
In a house full of history and secrets, the past will not stay where it belongs…
Lou has always loved Hill House, the derelict manor on the abandoned land near her home. As a child, the tragic history of its owners, the Mandevilles, inspired her dream to become a history teacher. But in her late twenties, and working in a shop to pay off student debts, life is passing her by.
That changes when a family disaster sends Lou’s life into a downward spiral and she seeks comfort in the ruined corridors of Hill House. The house transforms around her and Lou is transported back to Christmas 1913. Convinced she has been in an accident and is in a coma, Lou immerses herself in her Edwardian dream. With the Mandevilles oblivious to her true identity, Lou becomes their houseguest and befriends the eldest son, Captain Thomas Mandeville, a man she knows is destined to die in the First World War.
Lou feels more at home in the past than the present and when she realises the experience is real she sets out to do everything in her power to save her new friends.
Lou passes between 1913 and 2013, unearthing plots of murder and blackmail, which she must stop no matter the cost.
On her quest to save the Mandevilles by saving Thomas, Lou will face the hardest decision of her life. She will learn that love cannot be separated by a century.
What does TWG think?
I wish that there were enough adjectives in the Oxford dictionary to help me describe my thoughts about Callie Langridge’s debut novel. Now seeing as there are over 171k words currently in use in the Oxford dictionary, I am genuinely surprised that none of the adjectives seem to fit this book. Weird maybe, but it’s the truth. I could sit here and say that ‘A Time To Change’ is a ‘beautiful and enchanting read which is phenomenally written’ and, whilst that is the truth, it doesn’t seem complimentary enough. It doesn’t seem to fit the calibre of the storyline, even if it is the truth and I do mean it. Nothing I could write would ever seem enough for this storyline.
Because it took my breath away in a way I never thought was possible.
It took me under its spell, making everything else around me obsolete and worthless for the duration of the novel.
It filled my arms with copious amounts of goosebumps, whilst also pricking my eyes with unshed tears.
It broke my heart, then it fixed it again with good ol’ PVA glue before breaking it again in the most earth shattering and beautiful way.
Hell, if I can describe a heart-break as beautiful; Callie Langridge really and truly MUST have had me under her spell.
Like always I would love to sit here and have a conversation about the storyline, uncovering all the nooks and crannies, secrets and goodness knows what else – but I can’t because it wouldn’t be fair. For that reason alone, I’m not even going over the outline of the storyline again like I usually do. I just can’t, because this book needs to be read ‘blind’ as it were. You need to read this novel with your eyes open, heart protected, and the biggest box of tissues. If I chose to outline the storyline from my own personal view, it would be like me telling you how to the read the storyline in the same way as I had read it. You can’t.
I adored the unique angle for the storyline, so much so that it caught me off guard multiple times (don’t worry, I’m not complaining). Every single one of the characters were written with poise, grace, and incredible amounts of personality that even the not-so-nice characters came across a teeny bit nicer. Teeny bit….
I loved the historical feel that the author managed to create with her storyline and enchanting use of language. Everything just seemed to fit and when time frames needed to overlap, it was done with incredible precision, thus making the to-ing and fro-ing utterly seamless.
I can honestly say, hand on heart, that there is nothing about ‘A Time To Change’ which I dislike. From start to finish, Callie Langridge’s novel captured my heart, my soul; rendering me useless when it came to any form of adulting. The storyline isn’t all rainbows and moonbeams, yet even during the most tragic and heartbreaking parts of the storyline I felt as though I had something incredibly priceless in my hands; ‘A Time To Change’ itself.
I’m not going to lie, there did come a point in the storyline where the tears just fell out of my eyes and refused to evaporate, but you know what? As heartbreaking as that moment was, I wouldn’t change my reaction to it for the world.
‘A Time To Change’ is the most enchanting, heartbreakingly beautiful and soulful novel that I have read so far this year. Never have I ever read a book like it before, and never will I ever read a book like it again. Callie Langridge has an exceptional way with words as she manages to capture the true essence of each individual character, whilst also making the reader feel as though they’re the chosen ones.
A definite must read by an author to watch; ‘A Time To Change’ needs to be put under the spotlight by every single person. You need to feel the magic within ‘A Time To Change’ because, believe me, your world will feel a lot more nourished for doing so.
Stunning, absolutely stunning.
Thanks Bombshell Books.
Callie was born and brought up in Berkshire. After a brief teenage spell in the depths of Lancashire, she moved back to London.
Having left school at 16, she studied drama before embarking on a career in marketing. This saw her work in music marketing in the heady days of Britpop in the nineties. She unleashed her creativity in the design of window displays and marketing campaigns for the leading music retailer. More recently she has followed her passion for social history and currently works in marketing for a national historical institution, promoting projects and running events.
On hitting her thirtieth birthday, she decided finally to take her A levels and gained A’s in English Literature and Language, and Film Studies – not bad when working full time! – and this spurred her on to take the first of many creative writing course. A few years later and she has had a number of short stories published and plays performed at theatres and venues across London.
Callie lives in London with her long-term partner and an ever-growing collection of antique curiosities.
Facebook: Callie Langridge https://www.facebook.com/people/Callie-Langridge/100017408860162