AMAZON UK £3.48 £4.99
New York / France
An unforgettable tale of loss, love and redemption.
Time and Regret is a beautifully written novel that combines two compelling characters, vivid scenery and an intriguing mystery that propels the story at a perfect pace. This is one of my favorite novels of World War I (and there are many to choose from). For readers who really want to understand the haunting brutality of war and the healing powers of redemption, Time and Regret gets it right, over and over again.
The dual narrators, Grace Hansen and her grandfather Martin Devlin, weave two threads of the plot together in an effortless tapestry of love and loss. Taking us on vivid journey between 1990s New York and the bloody Great War battlefields of France, the chapters unfold beautifully between the two settings, at times crossing over, and at others providing insights and clues to the mystery at the heart of the novel.
As Grace begins to unravel the family secrets and pursue the puzzle she found in her grandfather’s diary, we accompany her to France. Here, another beautiful element of the novel joins the story, as Ms Tod’s evocative descriptions vividly bring to life the French countryside, food, wine and art. But still the land is haunted by the scars of the battlefields, and Time and Regret brings us closer to Martin’s sorrows as the tension builds. A romantic element for the recently divorced Grade adds a touch of flair to the plot, and as she makes the connections and understands Martin’s terrible experience, we share her heartrending discovery.
By the time we reach the climax of the novel, we have a new understanding of the horrors of Ypres and the Somme, and an appreciation of the acts of bravery that must not be forgotten. And, with Grace as a perfect counterweight to her grandfather’s emotional journey, we celebrate her victory over her own personal battles.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and it is definitely on my keeper shelf, to be relished more than once. Beautifully layered and sensitively written, I would not hesitate to say this is one of the best World War I historical fiction novels.
© Elizabeth St John