This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Ballantine Books
Released on February 7, 2017
I read the last page and my feelings were all over the place. Never once did I feel like I had a good grasp of what I thought and felt of this book. Guess that comes with the territory when one is dealing with a story of this nature that crosses the genre lines.
So what to say…
Let’s start with the summary. Andrea Louviere is a gifted cellist and was a child prodigy of sorts though her social anxiety kept her from the usual path of training and performance. A much more incredible reason also influences the direction of her life. Andrea grows up with her father and new family after he remarried, her music, and her friend from childhood, Nate, being her enter world. At least her entire world on this side of the wall.
When playing Isaac’s song that she created in a low time of her life, Andrea’s music opens a seam in time to a world on the other side of her wall where she gets glimpses of first a boy, then her friend growing older as a brilliant young man. The mysterious connection is unbelievable, but the friendship and later the deeper emotion of love make her believe in the magic and hold tight to it when others would beg her to live in the real world and take the love offered that she can see, hear, and touch all the time.
On the other side of the wall, young Isaac Newton is first curious about this friend who takes away the loneliness and inspires him to search out how their connection is possible. His mathematical and scientific genius finds a way to broaden the connection across time and a romance is born that he will do anything to have and keep. But can even he break the laws of science to bring about his heart’s desire?
So, this story that twisted me around and around makes for a difficult review. In essence, I both liked and disliked it, loved and hated it, and- you get the idea. Let’s just say I had rather mixed feelings. I think one of the reasons is because I couldn’t figure out what type of story it was. It doesn’t read like straight-up any one thing so it was hard to get a pulse. Was it a time travel romance? Yes. But, did it feel like historical or general fiction? Also yes. Now, let’s not forget the young adult and romance elements…
The story starts with Andrea and Isaac as children. I found this background and introduction interesting, but I also felt it opened the story in a way that didn’t sustain my interest. I had to wait a third of the book for things to really start happening. If I hadn’t already known that I was getting a time travel romance involving Sir Isaac Newton, I probably would have set the book aside before the more interesting part kicked in.
And then, I nearly put it down again when I discovered there was to be a love triangle and I do mean a true triangle. Andrea was in love with two men- one in the past and one in the present. This love triangle stuff isn’t fair to anyone involved and creates an unrequited love situation that is just not my idea of a good time. But, yes… mitigating circumstances happened. My own curiosity kept me reading along with my need to see which of two very worthy men would get their happiness. See? Hate the triangles. Someone is always hurt. Ugh.
There was Nate. Nate was Andrea’s childhood friend and later the boy and then man who fell in love with her and waited for her to see this and love him back. They share an early love of music and understanding. Nate knows what they have together. Andrea doesn’t see it because she is blinded by the magical connection she has with Isaac through their brief glimpses across time and then Isaac’s mysteriously delivered letters so she pushes Nate away sometimes cruelly. I get it, how can she tell him the truth. Though she does learn from how she dealt with Nate and told Isaac the truth that her heart is split between two loves.
Later on, I really connected with Isaac. Isaac got his wish of having Andrea with him and then must set his brilliant mind to finding a way to keep her. There is a surprise twist in Isaac’s story. Wow, didn’t see that coming. The author took known facts of Newton’s life and created a secret life that would fit within that which I thought well done. Though tissues… I required a few tissues before all was said and done.
So yes, this book had me wanted to set it aside a few times, but also pulled me in and grabbed me emotionally at other moments. From this end of the book, I am glad to have read it. I do think those who enjoy a historical fiction-feel to an emotional time travel romance will want to read this one.
My thanks to Penguin-Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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