In The Time We Lost – Carrie Hope Fletcher

Published By: Sphere
Pages: 385
Date Released: 17/10/2019

Luna Lark used to love her name, but that was before people started saying it differently.

I’m so sorry, Luna.

Are you alright, Luna?

Everything will be okay, Luna.

Luna doesn’t want pity, what she wants is a fresh start. Somewhere she can make headway on her next novel, mend her broken heart, and – most importantly – keep herself to herself.

For that Luna needs the most remote place she can find: Ondingside, a magical little island off the wild coast of Scotland. And when the town is cut off on her first night by a freak July snowstorm it feels like fate.

But Luna soon realises that being a newcomer in a small town might not be the best way to blend in. people are curious about her – handsome, kind, coffee shop owner Beau in particular. Will history repeat itself or will they have a future?

*****

I’ve read a number of Carrie Hope Fletcher’s novels and each one brings a little spark of magic into my life. I met her once, in 2014 when I worked at the Harry Potter Studio tour, and she was lovely. And I’ve also seen her in Les Miserables where she was sublime. So, she can sing, act, dance probably, and write – so she’s more than just a triple threat.

The books I’ve read, and this one amongst them, all have the simple rom-come vibe about them when you start. Girl goes through something terrible, girl wants to find herself, girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, ya da ya da ya da. But then, normally about a third of the way through, that’s when you see the spark. The thing that’s just a little bit off for a normal rom-com. Something that makes you question things.

[SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT]

This is no traditional rom-com story. After author Luna is stood up at the altar, she decides to move to Ondingside, a fictional island in Scotland, to work on her new novel in private. Whilst there, she meets a number of interesting characters: Beau, the mysterious and handsome coffee shop owner; Wendy, the heavily pregnant hippy bookshop owner; and Mrs McArthur, the landlady of the holiday inn Luna is staying at. They’re all strangers and yet, simultaneously, Luna feels the knows them all very closely.

After a very odd few days, and with the help of storm-chaser Jaxon, Luna discovers that the sudden freak July snowfall has stopped time on their island. At midnight every night, the clock rewinds, and whilst Luna feels different each time she awakens, for all intents and purposes, that day never happened, and it’s starting all over again. Soon, a mass evacuation of the island is ordered and well…you’ll just have to read it to see what happens at the end. But it definitely wasn’t what I expected.

It wasn’t my favourite Fletcher book – that title is still held by All That She Can See – but it was very warm and fuzzy, and it was interesting to see a twist on the rom-com. I think she was very clever not to stray into Groundhog Day territory. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but my issue with the movie Groundhog Day is it goes on too long. I get the premise, I understand that each day repeats, but it repeats so much that it wasn’t entertaining anymore, and I got bored and just wanted to switch it off. But Fletcher just manages to stay on the right side of that, and I never once wanted to close the book.

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