Time After Time – Review

Many thanks to Netgalley and Random House for the chance to read this novel.img_9980


A magical love story, inspired by the legend of a woman who vanished from Grand Central Terminal, sweeps readers from the 1920s to World War II and beyond, in the spirit of The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

On a clear December morning in 1937, at the famous gold clock in Grand Central Terminal, Joe Reynolds, a hardworking railroad man from Queens, meets a vibrant young woman who seems mysteriously out of place. Nora Lansing is a Manhattan socialite whose flapper clothing, pearl earrings, and talk of the Roaring Twenties don’t seem to match the bleak mood of Depression-era New York. Captivated by Nora from her first electric touch, Joe despairs when he tries to walk her home and she disappears. Finding her again—and again—will become the focus of his love and his life.

Nora, an aspiring artist and fiercely independent, is shocked to find she’s somehow been trapped, her presence in the terminal governed by rules she cannot fathom. It isn’t until she meets Joe that she begins to understand the effect that time is having on her, and the possible connections to the workings of Grand Central and the solar phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge, when the sun rises or sets between the city’s skyscrapers, aligned perfectly with the streets below.

As thousands of visitors pass under the famous celestial blue ceiling each day, Joe and Nora create a life unlike any they could have imagined. With infinite love in a finite space, they take full advantage of the “Terminal City” within a city, dining at the Oyster Bar, visiting the Whispering Gallery, and making a home at the Biltmore Hotel. But when the construction of another landmark threatens their future, Nora and Joe are forced to test the limits of freedom and love.

Delving into Grand Central Terminal’s rich past, Lisa Grunwald crafts a masterful historical novel about a love affair that defies age, class, place, and even time.

I immediately had to request this book when I saw a review on Instagram from Top Shelf Book Reviews. This book sounded like it would be right up my alley, especially since The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are two of my very favorite stories ever. I can’t even explain my excitement when I was accepted for this book – I immediately dropped everything and started reading. It featured everything I love, from a World War II time period to interesting historical facts and a unique love story. Unfortunately, at about 35% through this story, I had to take a break. I needed to catch up on ARCs that were publishing soon and this book was slow going for me. I would read for a bit and be intrigued and then the story would slowly lose my attention again thereafter. There was just something missing, not allowing the story to capture my full concentration.

Finally, as April was ending, I decided to pick this book back up and see if I could fall in love with this story. As much as hoped, there was still something missing from the reading experience for me. I liked the characters well enough, I thought the idea for the plot was interesting and was anxious to see what would happen. However, there were too many time jumps, too many insignificant secondary characters, and an overall disjointed feel that kept this book from being everything I needed it to be. I often find the books with the most unique plots are victims of poor execution. In this case, I didn’t feel the sweeping romance I hoped I would be caught up in. This was supposed to be an epic love story, one that defies the laws of time and age. Yet I didn’t feel that connection between the characters in the way that was needed, which left me feeling utterly disappointed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the historical aspect of this story and the chance to learn things about Grand Central Station I didn’t know about prior to reading. I also loved the significance of Manhattanhenge, something else that has somehow escaped my knowledge all of these years as well. Overall, this story had some very interesting attributes but I was hoping for better.

It seems this book already has quite mixed reviews, I recommend giving it a try for yourself if it sounds like something you’d enjoy. Pick up your copy on June 11th.

Rating: 3 stars.

Purchase on Amazon.


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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Jules_Writes says:

    Great review, I really love the cover of this one.


  2. Berit@Audio Killed the Bookmark says:

    This looks really good! And I love that cover!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the cover too!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol says:

    Awww! I know that disappointment you feel with a highly anticipated read because I’ve had that happen! 😩 I’m glad you enjoyed the historical aspect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a bummer, isn’t it? I think I set my expectations too high for this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carol says:

        High expectations is definitely a reading hazard!


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