Date posted: 29th June 2017 / Book Reviews
We’ve been waiting to share this review with you and now, on its publication day, we thoroughly recommend this magical new novel by Rowan Coleman.
I’m always thinking it – what I wouldn’t give for one more minute in the day: to just be, to be with the ones that are loved but lost, to appreciate the breaths I take. Everyone does it, don’t they? There’s a day we wish we could do over, a moment we wish could last forever and then there’s the extra time we wish for to send that last email, to file that article, to just generally get things done. Yes time is a hot topic and one thing’s for sure – there’s just not enough of it. It is in the future fleetingly and in the past for every second we move on and that’s the point – time moves on. There is no slowing it down, no freezing a perfect moment or redoing an awful one… or is there?
Rowan Coleman’s latest release, The Summer of Impossible Things challenges everything we thought we knew about time. From the moment of reading the explanatory foreword to the point when one reaches the closing pages disbelief so easily becomes suspended as the laws of physics, of reason, of loss and grief and heartbreak and everything that makes up the fabric of life are twined and bound up with a sprinkling of perfectly measured magic which leaves a tale that is a love story like no other.
Yes, there is a romance plot – girl meets boy and falls inexorably in love – but even here there is a twist. You see, Luna – the novel’s physicist protagonist – falls in love out of time, or rather, out of her time.
The story picks up after the painful loss of her mother and Luna and her sister Pia (affectionately known as Pea throughout) travel to New York to wrap up her estate and to seek comfort in the place where she lived and breathed and fell in love. Whilst seeking those answers Luna and eventually Pea, get a little more than they bargained for.
Luna has been experiencing strange episodes, episodes she knows are scientifically impossible but which feel overwhelmingly real to her – she has been slipping through time and, when she visits the house that her mother Riss grew up in, she finds herself transported back to the Seventies and in the company of her charismatic mother as a young girl. Knowing the pain her mother had been in from an experience that occurred around that time, Luna cannot quite believe that her mother is living and breathing and falling in love with Luna’s father.
Once Luna has visited her mother in this way once, she cannot resist returning, but with each visit she risks more of herself and, when a shocking secret comes to light, she risks losing herself entirely.
The reason why this love story is like no other is that it is the story of a mother’s love for her daughters, those daughters’ love for their mother and is a testament to loving yourself. The novel explores all facets of time – how it can lengthen, span, sprawl, destroy and save and how it must be seized with both hands before it escapes.
The Summer of Impossible Things is an ode to the Seventies – a decade of free-spirited love, of revolution and of Saturday Night Fever which is brought to life and celebrated on these pages excellently. It is a story about how timeless love is and how far humans are prepared to go – travelling through good and bad times and even time itself to change the way the world looks.
A delightful, emotional and utterly brilliantly crafted novel, this is one novel that will leave many a reader longing for just one more moment to spend with it during The Summer of Impossible Things…
The Summer of Impossible Things is out now, published by Ebury Press
*Literature Works received an Advanced Review copy of this novel courtesy of Netgalley