Title: The Time Between
Author: Karen White
Genre/Audience: Women’s fiction, adult
Publication: NAL, 2013
For a long while now, I’ve been wanting to read Karen White. Her books always sound like quintessential women’s fiction, and their covers are usually striking. With this latest release from her, I finally got around to reading one of her books, and while I can certainly see why she is such a popular author, I was slightly underwhelmed. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did, I just didn’t love it.
Eleanor Murray has a bit of a humdrum and sad life. As a child, her father died in an accident, and her sister later wound up partially paralyzed and permanently bound to a wheelchair after an incident for which Eleanor blames herself. Add that to the fact that her sister also married the man that Eleanor is in love with, and that makes for a pretty strained and messed up relationship between sisters. Her sister also blames her for the accident and as such, Eleanor has devoted most of her life to taking care of her, never living much of her own life. This all changes when her boss offers her a job on Edisto Island, her beloved childhood home, taking care of his old and cranky great-aunt, Helena. Life starts changing when Eleanor begins to unravel the past – both hers and Helena’s – and begins to accept the things she cannot change.
This book had an extremely interesting premise and a great mystery behind it. This is very much a story of sisters, and Helena’s story runs parallel to Eleanor’s as the novel examines the dark side of each relationship. Furthermore, there is a great mystery and secret that Helena keeps, causing her to be bitter and hold everyone at a distance, Eleanor included. While Helena is initially resistant to Eleanor, and quite mean to her, they eventually learn to help each other through the pain of the past, and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship evolve. I also enjoyed the mystery.
The characters were also very well developed and strong. I particularly enjoyed the spunky young daughter of Eleanor’s boss. Because the characters were strong, the relationships between them all were strong as well. I enjoyed this aspect.
Lastly, the writing was beautiful and elegant. As you can see, there were many wonderful things about this book, however, I am only giving it 3 stars because the story moved a bit too slowly for my taste, and had the tendency to drag sometimes. I find I have this problem a lot with books that are “beautifully” written. I really did appreciate the book and can see that the author is an incredibly talented writer, I just would have liked to see the story move along quicker. I definitely will read Karen White again though. I think fans of historical fiction will really enjoy this one as there is quite a bit of history involved too.
My Rating: 3/5