Wednesday 3 August 2022

Guest Review: By This Time Tomorrow by Charlotte Butterfield

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?

Review: Charlotte Butterfield is an author who is new to me, but when I read the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued and just had to find out what it was all about. I’m glad that I decided to give it a try as I found it amusing and compelling right from the start and finished it in no time at all.

The central character in the story is Jess, a doctor with a busy practice in London and a chaotic family life at home, including a marriage that is on the rocks. When a chance to move the family to a different environment comes up, she jumps at it hoping for a new start for all of them. The temporary post she accepts is as the only doctor in a practice on the Isle of Forth, a small island in the English Channel that is car-free and has an excellent school - ideal for the whole family. However, Jess soon begins to realise that there are some strange things going on on the island. By chance, she discovers that it is possible to time travel back to any particular point in your life, a secret known by only a few others on the island. This seems a marvellous way to put right some of the problems in her life, but she soon discovers the associated pitfalls; changing things in the past can have serious knock-on effects in the future.

This was a very different read and an interesting slant on time travel. It certainly has the reader thinking about what they would do if presented with the chance to go back and have a do-over, and what the unintended consequences might be. Time travel aside, it was heart warming to see the effects on Jess’s dysfunctional family of moving away from the big city to a more peaceful environment. The story is filled with emotions, with plenty of laughs and it’s fair share of sorrow. I really enjoyed it and am sure other readers will too; I’ll be on the lookout for more books from Charlotte Butterfield.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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