About the Book
Sometimes you have to go back, to move forwards.
Tabitha is stuck. She still lives in the small town she grew up in . . . the town she’s barely ever left.
So, when her dad drops a bombshell over their weekly Sunday dinner, Tabitha takes a look at her own life. She lives firmly in her comfort zone and doesn’t know how to break out. Sometimes she wishes she should go back and start it all again.
When she meets Bea, a free spirit like no one else she’s ever known with an ‘interesting’ sense of style, Tabitha quickly befriends her, recognising in Bea the change she’s been craving. But soon it becomes clear that more has changed than her new friend. Somehow Tabitha has been transported back to the 1980s.
With the chance to reinvent herself in another time, will Tabitha finally manage to move forward?
About the Author
LOUISE PENTLAND is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Wilde novels trilogy and non-fiction book MumLife. She’s the number one parenting vlogger in the UK, with 9 million combined followers across her social platforms. Louise is the creator and host of the podcast Mothers’ Meeting, where she interviews fellow mums and discusses all things motherhood.
Louise featured on the ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Influencers’ list and was crowned as the number one ‘mumfluencer’ by Mother & Baby. She is also a UN Global Ambassador for Gender Equality and an NSPCC Ambassador for Childhood. Louise has filmed with an array of people, from Kim Kardashian to the Pope at the Vatican. She is also involved in the support and encouragement of childhood literacy with charity Bookstart, alongside Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
What I Thought
This book perhaps wasn’t quite was I was expecting going into it but I still enjoyed it and OMG the flashbacks to C&A, coming in from a night out with smoky hair, and shell suits! All of which I do not miss – lol.
Main character Tabitha is 26 and is living a pretty comfortable life. In fact so comfortable that I felt that the character read older than she was. She’s a vintage shop manager with a side hustle as a vintage upcylcler on the gram. She has a boyfriend – David, and there is starting to be talk of babies and marriage.
There’s really two inciting incidents – the first involving a revelation by her dad and the second a time travelling ring.
The time travel aspect was intriguing but it did take a while to get going. There was even a bit where she suddenly went from thinking that what had happened when wearing it was a bit odd, to confessing to her friend she thinks she has magical powers. That actually came a bit out of the blue and had me checking to see if I’d managed to skip a chapter.
The time travel to 1989 is not a permanent thing and instead is something that Tabby can control at will and as such wasn’t used as much as I was anticipating. I also guessed partially why it was happening but the book did manage to add an extra little twist that I didn’t spot until pretty late.
The female relationships were what worked best for me in this book. We had Tabby reconnecting with her mother differently after her dad’s revelation, her best friend Vivi mostly having her back – although there’s tension between them linked to David. And back in the 80s there’s fun and adventurous Bea who I actually liked a lot (and would read more about for sure).
Both inciting incidents do lead Tabby to learn different things and she begins to step outside her comfort zone aided by the female characters around her. I think some reviewers have perhaps felt that Tabby was a little passive but I think that emphasises her character’s arc throughout the book. And who says women have to be entirely independent and oomphy to be valid anyway?
The male characters were also varied – with some of them deserving a slap for their antiquated views – and I’m not talking about the ones from the 80s.
The final 50 pages were pretty emotional as we start to realise how everything across the two time lines fit together.
I almost wish the epilogue hadn’t been included and instead that we would get a follow up following Tabby after the end of the story – and maybe more importantly a prequel focusing on Bea.
Actually randomly I’ve just thought of this comparison – if you like the Mamma Mia movies I think you’d enjoy this.
I received a gifted ARC copy for the purposes of an honest review thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers and the publishers. Do check out the rest of the blog tour posts to see what everyone else thought.
Ellis is losing track of time…
After leaving her friends to move to a crumbling Scottish mansion, Ellis is overcome by anxiety and loneliness. Then she hears whispers in the walls…and finds herself whisked back in time to 1912.
At first, she feels like she’s finally home. But the past may not be as perfect as it seems – and is there more to hope for in the present than she first thought?
Karen McCombie is from Aberdeen but now lives in North London with her husband, daughter and one big ginger cat.
Before Karen became a full-time writer she worked for several teen magazines such as Just Seventeen, Bliss and Sugar in a variety roles – everything from Fashion Editor to Features Editor – all very exciting and glam!
Karen has sold over one million books in the UK alone and has been translated into 15 languages.
Find out more at http://www.karenmccombie.co.uk and take the opportunity to join Karen’s Club!
What I Thought
This was a quick and easy read and at its heart a touching story – it reminds me of something I wrote when younger which I think was probably inspired by watching Moondial. I wonder if all children being dragged round old houses imagine flitting back to the past and meeting the inhabitants of a past time?
Well for Ellis this really happens.
I like the extended metaphor that the jumps back in time are for Ellis in terms of her feeling out of place and unwanted. Her mother has just remarried and she has a new stepdad and stepsister – and all this has happened in the last few months. In 1912 she befriends Flora, a housemaid who is bullied by those around her, the two of them become each other’s shoulder and Ellis starts to explore how she had been treated by ‘so-called friends’ in the past.
Ellis transforms as the book progresses and begins to assert herself and challenge the secrets that are being kept from her. Her experience of anxiety and other people’s reactions to it were handled well – the whirlwind romance experienced by the adults is for Ellis a ‘Whirl, tilt, shift’. I would add this book to a list of those that deals with mental health in a sensitive way – but as part of a wider story and not the sole focus.
Now, I put the 1912 date together with another little clue before Ellis did but that was part of the fun – when was she going to twig? There was a twist though that I wasn’t expecting. Very clever McCombie!!
I received my review copy from Scholastic via Faye Rogers – opinions as ever are my own.
Please find details of the rest of the stops on the blog tour here:
Q is for… Quantum Leap
Today’s show isn’t quite as old as the Incredible Hulk but I probably saw it around the same time. Quantum Leap had five seasons from 1989 − 1993.
Sam Beckett, a scientist leaps back in time – each episode sees him leap into another person’s body and have to do something to solve an issue in their lives before he can leap on. We only see who he is when he looks in the mirror – usually Sam is dressed as them which is funny when they are a lady. He always hopes that his next leap will be the one home. He does have help each week in the form of Al – his holographic colleague and Al’s computer Ziggy who can find out more about where they are and who Sam is. The banter between Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell was one of the best parts of this show.
Each episode was often like a mini movie – looking at serious issues, race relations, disability (blindness and learning disability), rape, alcoholism and so on.
There is an episode where he leaps into his younger self and tries to change things that he shouldn’t, another where he becomes someone just about to be executed, another where he is a chimp!. Also where a course of ECT makes him act like other people he’s leapt into. I’m not sure if I remember all of these – I sense another box set addition to my wish list.
Here is the Episode intro and music.
Do you remember QL?
What other TV duos do you like?