If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison – Book Review

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I received a free copy for my honest review.

If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison

About the Book:

Thirty-seven year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous, and she enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But despite it all, she can’t ignore the fact that she isn’t necessarily happy. In fact, lately Ramie has begun to feel more than a little empty.

On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives off…

Suddenly Ramie is waking up, straining to understand a voice calling in the distance…It’s her mother: “Wake up! You’re going to be late for school again. I’m not writing a note this time…”

Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she’s lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she’ll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?

About the Author:

BETH HARBISON is the New York Times bestselling author of Driving with the Top Down; Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger; When in Doubt, Add Butter; Always Something There to Remind Me; Thin, Rich, Pretty; Hope in a Jar; Secrets of a Shoe Addict; and Shoe Addicts Anonymous. She grew up in Potomac, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C., and now divides her time between that suburb, New York City, and a quiet home on the Eastern Shore.

Read an excerpt of If I Could Turn Back Time

My Opinion:

Don’t we all think from time to time about going back in time? Wondering what would have happened if we had made different decisions. It’s a plot device that has been used time and time again in books – sometimes to wonderful effect and sometimes not so well. In this novel, I’m sorry to write, it falls further to the not so well side. Ramie Phillips is 37 and seemingly has it all; a great job, lots of money and a great group of friends. She is out celebrating her 38th birthday and instead of feeling happy she is feeling unsettled. After receiving news from her friends that causes her to further consider her life she drinks a little too much and does something very foolish. When she wakes up it’s not where she expects….

Imagine waking up on the eve of your 18th birthday with full knowledge of the life you have led for the 20 years into your future. What would change? Would you want to change anything? This is suddenly what Ramie is facing as she finds herself awakening in her childhood bed with her 37 year old’s knowledge in her 18 year old life.  It takes her a while to sort out what is going on but she realizes that perhaps she can change some things she regrets from her past – most of all maybe she can do something to stop her father from dying so young. But what is the cost of changing history? There is danger in doing so.

The concept of the book is a strong one and it’s one that has worked exceedingly well over and over in other stories. In this one it just doesn’t come together as well as it could. Young Ramie is obsessed with sex and very repetitive. It’s as if she needs to keep explaining the same thing to herself over and over again to have the information sink in. While she claims to be a hard charging 37 year old in this 18 year old body she really reads and acts like a child no matter how old she is. She does eventually learn but it’s a quick lesson to wrap up the book. I was left really wanting  more.




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