Book Review: Time After Time

Time After Time
By: Wendy Godding
Published By: Escape Publishing
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Page Count: 247
Buy it at Amazon
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

Abbie has always been different. She dreams of dozens of girls, all of whom die just before their 18th birthday, always at the hands, or as a consequence of the actions, of the same man. But Abbie isn’t dreaming of strangers; these are her past lives, and now that she’s 17, she worries that her current life is almost over. 

 Abbie begins dreaming of her most recent past life, that of a Pastor’s daughter in 19th Century England. Penelope Broadhurst is, like Abbie, an artist, painting the parsonage where she lives with her father, and the Manor house, where her cousins live. When the dashing Heath Lockwood arrives to visit her cousin, he and Penelope are instantly taken with each other. Their relationship develops apace, but Abbie knows that the end must come for Penelope. She develops an obsession with the content of these dreams in a way she hasn’t with any of her other past lives. She knows she can’t change the outcome for Penelope, but maybe she can change the outcome for herself. 

In the present, when new neighbours move in, Abbie is shocked to see Heath Lockwood’s face on the younger son, Marcus. Is he the one who will end her current life, or will she find a way to break the cycle and have a happy ending? 

 In Time After Time, Wendy Godding entwines the stories of Abbie and Penelope beautifully, but for me, Penelope’s story was much more enthralling than Abbie’s. Broadhurst is beautifully described and the characters are wonderfully real. The dialogue is authentic and suited to the time period and I got a real sense of place and time from these passages. We know that Penelope will die, and we have a couple of possibilities for the killer, but how and when remains a mystery. I found myself unable to put down my Kindle, waiting to see what would happen next. 

 Abbie’s story isn’t quite as well developed. I had no sense of place and couldn’t tell where the story was set. This for me was the main drawback of the book. However, Abbie’s story was still compelling and I was eager to find out what would happen to her. The story is highly suspenseful, and I stayed up until all hours to finish it. 

 Overall, Time After Time is a highly enjoyable mystery spanning two lifetimes. I really enjoyed this debut and hope to see more from Wendy Godding in the future.

She has died countless times before, and she is not going to let it happen again.

Abbie Harper dies just before her eighteenth birthday. It has happened before, more times than she can remember — and always at the hands of the same man. Her dreams are plagued with past lives, cut short.

But this latest dream feels different. Her past life as Penelope Broadhurst — an English pastor’s daughter in 1806 — keeps bleeding into her present life in ways both sinister and familiar. As Penelope meets and falls in love with the dashing Heath Lockwood, so too does Abbie meet the brothers Marcus and Rem Knight. One wants to love her; the other to kill her.

Time is running out for Penelope, but as Abbie mourns her inability to change the past, she chases the slim chance to save her future. To survive, she must solve the puzzle of an ancient love story…and Penelope just might be able to help.