Welcome M.K. Tod to the blog today with her newest release, a dual-timeline historic fiction that has a dash of mystery, several secrets and views from World War I France. Please read on for my review, check the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title, and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win one of 5 paperback copies of the title.
Time and Regret
The second book that I’ve read from M.K. Tod, I enjoy the detail (historic and not) with which she infuses her titles, making the past come alive and relevant to readers and characters alike. In this story, we are introduced to Grace, picking up (and packing up) after a divorce. During her de-clutter, she comes across a box of diaries belonging to her grandfather, all topped off with a letter to her, indicating a mystery.
Dual timeline storytelling is a tricky balance, and with Grace still reeling from an unexpected divorce and the loss of her beloved grandfather, the favorite of her two parent-figures. She takes his letter and the diaries as a challenge, determined to follow his footsteps and attempt to solve the mystery all these years later.
Tod’s writing lends itself to description, the ability to use diary entries to feed the visual impressions the words create show great skill. Showing Martin as human and conflicted in the midst of the trials of war: wondering at the losses while still moving forward to that nebulous line of ‘winning’. The slow unfurling of Cynthia’s story, as we see what shaped her attitudes and reactions, particularly regarding her own secrets and regrets. Lastly, Grace as she regains some of her own confidence and begins to understand the undercurrents that fed into her own personality, not the least of which is the grandparents (Martin and Cynthia) who raised her.
A current (well – 1990’s) journey through the battlefields and museums, imbued with history, culture and even a bit of romance in the form of a museum curator, Grace’s travels and explorations as she follows the mystery left behind is glorious. Experiencing France for the first time, she shares those moments, giving readers that frisson of excitement and bone-deep pleasure that comes when one is open to experience it all. A near palpable sense of Grace is present throughout the story, bringing her into the room, sharing moments with her as if you are there. While the mystery in and of itself didn’t ring strongly for me, Martin’s purpose in sending Grace out, to learn and live in the moment, without regrets or what-if’s is a lesson that comes to everyone slowly but is all the sweeter for the realization.
Title: Time and Regret
Author: M.K. Tod
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery Elements, World War I
Published by: Lake Union Publishing
Published on: 16 August, 2016
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 25 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his past—and to long-buried family secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determined to solve her grandfather’s puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French man—and suddenly aware that someone is following her…
Through her grandfather’s vivid writing and Grace’s own travels, a picture emerges of a man very unlike the one who raised her: one who watched countless friends and loved ones die horrifically in battle; one who lived a life of regret. But her grandfather wasn’t the only one harboring secrets, and the more Grace learns about her family, the less she thinks she can trust them.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.