The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw (book review) // Slow and complex but unique contemporary fiction

The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw

Publication Date : June 20th 2019

Publisher : Accent Press Ltd

Read Date : July 18th 2019

Genre : Fiction / Contemporary

Pages : 448

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…

Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.

But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.

The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost. 

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. ***

The Space Between Time was contemporary fiction that revolved around Emma’s life and her grandfather’s famous theorem that helped her understand world and herself, to come out of loss and grief and move on in life. It was about loss, grief, love, family, fame and its fatal effects, forgiveness, and mental health.

I have mixed feeling for this book. It was quite different but it was also not the best and I really didn’t enjoy some part of the book .

First the writing was descriptive, flowery and beautiful filled with wit and emotion. It was first person narrative. Emma’s voice was different, I loved the way she told her life story. It felt like reading Emma’s diary where she jotted down her life and thoughts, like Diary of young Girl. And I liked those unique chapter headings with math equations.

It started with Emma, introducing her imperfect family. A mom, Caitlin who was always anxious, worrier, low esteemed but utterly beautiful, good at heart, hated limelight, attraction and ostentatious life style that she could not avoid because of her famous Hollywood star husband, Paul, Emma’s father for whom his looks and acting career was always important than his family and for that Emma never wanted to be like him, in fact hated him.

Emma loved her mother, felt protective for her, and always supported her when she felt anxious. But a child cannot possibly save a person from depression and unhappiness. Even though they had all money, luxury, and fame, Emma and her family was unhappy, never at peace. It affected Emma’s childhood and mental health. When tragedy struck, she couldn’t cope with situation, it shattered her from within. Things and life went on and so did Emma, but only outwardly and that lead her to series of bad decisions.

Emma was more attached to her grandparents. Alberto was Italian astrophysicist who could explain everything by mathematics and had written a controversial book. Her relationship with them was great, we see them more in first part and through Alberto’s book. I liked them, I wish I could know them more.

I didn’t like Emma’s father. He was ungrateful person who put everything else before his family. I even hated him for what happened to Caitlin and Emma, what they had to go through because of his fame and had to face everything alone as he was never with them when they needed him. Like Emma, I also thought why he married her mother as there was apparently no love and I didn’t care what happened to him later in the book, until third part of the book.

I loved the way author represented life of celebrities and how difficult the life of fame can be and not just for them but their family as well. How it can have both positive and negative impact. It was insightful to read about impact of parents’ behavior on children’s life and their mind. I cannot stop thinking about the way Emma’s parents behaved and what could have been if they could be more sensible, resolve their problems by conversation and bit of trust.

Third part was best in whole book. Everything made much more sense, her voice, narration, plot, characters. I could understand Emma, her mother and father even better. Like Emma, I was surprised by knowing and seeing everything that happened in her life with different perspective and this changed my thoughts about all other characters.

I liked the way Emma developed in this part and learned and accepted things in hard way. I liked the end, the final chapter where she was different person than the first one, wise, sensible and little less mad.

I will be honest here. I couldn’t understand anything about Alberto’s book or Rossini Theorem. Like Emma and her parents, I’m not good with numbers, physics was never my favorite subject, and astrophysics is alien to me. It was kind of boring part for me and I itched to skip those part whenever the story and the events were connecting to his theories.

First part of the book was slow but second was even slower, terribly slow. At the end of the second part I felt first part was much better both in terms of pace and plot and characters. It took me more than a week to finish this book!

I couldn’t connect with Emma and I didn’t care what she was doing, especially in second part. I’m glad third part was much better or I would have hated Emma.

I didn’t enjoy as much as I expected.

Overall, it was slow read with complex theorem and Emma’s life but definitely unique story. If you don’t mind slow pace and you love astrophysics and its connection to life, go ahead.

Book Links : Goodreads | Amazon
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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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