Many thanks to Anne Cater and Accent Press for inviting me to take part in the blog tour (and for the ARC) for ‘The Space Between Time’ by Charlie Laidlaw, I am delighted to be able to share my review with you all today!
There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…
Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.
But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.
The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.
What does TWG think?
This will no doubt be a tough review for me to write, for several reasons. Firstly, my opinion on the storyline changed multiple times throughout, with me unsure at first as to whether it was ‘for me’. Secondly, the concept of this book is incredibly intricate, and I’m not too sure if I can do the book justice with my thoughts. And lastly, ‘The Space Between Time’ ended up moving me in a way I don’t think even I, Little Miss Chatterbox, could explain.
So yes, I’ve admitted that I didn’t exactly ‘get on’ with the book at first, and I think that was because I felt that the story was a bit mismatched and kept jumping to different times and different events like a little grasshopper. I found it a little difficult to put all of the puzzle pieces in order, however once I stopped reading the novel like I read every other novel, things began to make sense. Charlie Laidlaw’s book needs to be read like the unique book that it is. It cannot be compared to any other. It cannot be read knowing the path the storyline might take. It cannot be rushed, nor can it be read with a one track mind. Honestly, I had to clear my thoughts as best as I could, take a deep breath and read this book as though I was looking at the bigger picture in life. Once I did that, well, my heart was taken on its own little journey.
What I loved about ‘The Space Between Time’ was how it was set in a place not far from me, one where I have actually lived; North Berwick! When the author was describing the seaside town, or taking one of his characters past The Scottish Seabird Centre, I could envision the route very clearly and it meant that I was able to feel more in tune with the setting as I had actually stepped foot there. I also got excited when the author mentioned Aberlady and Drem train station! Daft I know, but still. It’s the little things, eh?
Emma has a life most other children could only dream of, however what may look like a picture perfect life to the outside world, is actually completely different for someone actually living it. Yes, she may be the daughter of a famous actor. Yes, she may have a huge house, staff, and the ability to have everything she could ever want, yet what she wants the most, money simply cannot buy.
There is so much to this storyline than I had originally thought, and the fact that it centred around space, the universe, and everything else in between, was such an interesting (and often confusing) concept. Heck, even the thought of time itself made me stop and think. The topic of mental health is evident throughout, and I thought the author dealt with that topic, as well as the other hard-hitting subjects in the book, beautifully and sensitively. I could feel the emotion radiating from Emma’s character. I felt the panic oozing from her mother’s personality. I felt the hurt of a young woman in immense turmoil, deep within my soul in the latter portion of the book. Emma may have had the option to fill her life with beautiful things, multiple holidays abroad and so forth, yet when someone has lost their way, no amount of money or materialistic things would put them back on the correct path.
The thought of ‘time’ really got under my skin and it got me thinking. Whenever I go out somewhere, I am always aware of time. The time we need to get our train or bus home. Lunch time. Ensuring the dog is fed at his correct time. Every step is governed by it and, thanks to ‘The Space Between Time’, I realised that I never go out anywhere and simply…..be. I don’t saunter down the street being in the moment. I don’t think ‘oh we will eat when we eat, no rush’. And you know what? I don’t like it! Yes, routine and plans are important, but I had no idea just how much I was taking ‘time’ for granted until now.
‘The Space Between Time’ is such an eye-opening, highly charged read which takes the reader on a ‘one step at time’ type journey through life and loss, turmoil and joy, happiness and sadness. Even though the book covers a few heartbreaking topics, it still is such an uplifting and moving read. I surprised myself by how much I ended up loving ‘The Space Between Time’ – I really will not be forgetting this book anytime soon.