The Space Between Time - Charlie Laidlaw

The Space Between Time is the story of a woman born into exceptional circumstances, struggling with being in the spotlight, and her families demons. It's a rare gem that mixes humour, tragedy, and a literary angle to keep analysts happy.




On the surface, Emma seems to be a very lucky girl. Her father's an A list celebrity, nominated for multiple Oscars, in the top 20 sexiest men, and a household name all over the world. Her grandfather is a world leading scientist, who has just published his ground breaking theory, and trying to get it to gain some traction with his peers. Her mother loves her deeply, and provides some normality in her life, despite being married to a top Hollywood actor and being drop dead gorgeous. But beneath it all, Emma's world isn't as happy as it looks on paper. Her father's absences are creating a growing tension in the Rossini household - her mother is suspicious about infidelity, and Emma just wants her father around. Emma and her mother are sick of being the famous family - Emma wants to blend in at school, and some friends who like her for who she is, not for who her father is. Her mother hates the spotlight, and shy's away from public appearances. Emma finds her only solace is in her grandparents, whom she adores. Her grandfather may be a top astrophysicist, but he's just a goofy Grandad to Emma, who hangs on his life lessons and finds his moustache hilarious. Tragedy soon strikes the family, in an unexpected event, and Emma's life goes down an unforeseen path. Seriously, the tragedy just comes out of nowhere, just as you begin to root for Emma there's a gut punch that leaves you genuinely concerned about how she will recover and put herself back together. No, Grandad doesn't die.

I really enjoyed this book, and there's a few reasons why. The first thing that grabbed me is the humour in Emma's narration. She has a really wry view on the world, and sees things for what they are. She has blunt way about things, but she's sharp at the same time. She's a very funny narrator, and this gives the book readability - it's a pleasure to go through the chapters and at no point an effort. Emma's narration and humour carry the story as it unfolds around her. 

There's a strong use of imagery running through this book too. Emma loves the sea - she grew up in East Lothian (which is gorgeous part of the world by the way), in Scotland, next to the coast, and has always felt an affinity with the sea. An the sea features heavily in the book - there isn't essays written about it, but important little drops here and there. If you read this, pay attention to the sea - it gives the book a bit of depth that can be lacking in contemporary novels at times. 

Also, stick with this to the end. The end casts a shadow over the rest of the book, and will change how you perceive the whole story. I don't want to say too much obviously, but now I know the end of the story, I want to read the book again, and pay attention to every single little thing that happens. Like when you watch a film again and notice the little details - I think this book has the ability to keep giving after the first read.


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