The Psychology of Time Travel: Gorgeous writing, but too many characters pulled me in too many directions

What is this about?: A mystery, a murder and time travel.

What else is this about?: In all honesty, the four friends have less of a purpose than the blurb suggests.


1967: Four female scientists invent a time-travel machine. They are on the cusp of fame: the pioneers who opened the world to new possibilities. But then one of them suffers a breakdown and puts the whole project in peril.

2017: Ruby knows her beloved Granny Bee was a pioneer, but they never talk about the past. Though time travel is now big business, Bee has never been part of it. Then they receive a message from the future–a newspaper clipping reporting the mysterious death of an elderly lady.

2018: When Odette discovered the body, she went into shock. Blood everywhere, bullet wounds, flesh. But when the inquest fails to answer any of her questions, Odette is frustrated. Who is this dead woman that haunts her dreams? And why is everyone determined to cover up her murder?

Stars: 3/5

The blurb to The Psychology of Time Travel suggested to me a character-driven exploration of the relationship between four female friends who accomplished the most amazing thing in 1967.

The reality of the book is somewhat different, and in all honesty, I was confused for much of it.

The author takes you right into the 1967, to the invention of the time machine and introduces you to the four friends who are about the change the world. The pacing in the book never lets up, taking readers straight to what’s happening and there’s less fluff.

There’s an economy to the author’s writing that I wished more authors adopted in general for she uses it effectively to draw the relationship between the four, in the beginning and through the book. It’s also a strength when the book sets up time travel as part of every day life.

Worldbuilding and time-travel-building within this world as a whole is interesting. As I mentioned, time travel is part of every day life to the point that a child’s toy utilises it.

However, this foursome is who I am invested in, and who the blurb set me up to be invested in. I didn’t expected there to be a myriad of other characters – I honestly lost count – all part of the story in different timelines, with their own issues and their own reasons for wanting to become time travellers. I found myself going back and forth trying to remember what these characters were doing in previous chapters and to link them to the foursome.

They all do link to the mystery at the core of this book, but by that point, I was simply glad to have an answer for the mystery, while I didn’t enjoy the journey there as much as I could have. And usually, it’s the other way around in books like this for me – the journey to the answer is where most of my enjoyment comes from

By the end, I honestly, was just confused (sadly). I’ve read the reviews on Goodreads, and clearly you’ll see from the high rating and the discussions of the themes I’m in the minority.

Sighs. Yeah, that’s all I have.


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