Time After Time

Time After Time

A magical love story, inspired by the legend of a woman who vanished from Grand Central Terminal, sweeps readers from the 1920s to World War II and beyond, in the spirit of The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.On a clear December morning in 1937, at the famous gold clock in Grand Central Terminal, Joe Reynolds, a hardworking railroad man from Qu...

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Title:Time After Time
Author:Lisa Grunwald
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Time After Time Reviews

  • Fran

    Mahattanhenge, a term popularized by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, is a phenomenon occurring around the time of the summer and winter solstices. The rising or setting sun creates an amazing burst of light framed by Manhattan skyscrapers as the sun rises above or dips below the horizon.

    Weather permitting, the brilliant line of light entered the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal through three high arched windows yearly, on or about December 5. The terminal was crowded with onlookers a

    Mahattanhenge, a term popularized by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, is a phenomenon occurring around the time of the summer and winter solstices. The rising or setting sun creates an amazing burst of light framed by Manhattan skyscrapers as the sun rises above or dips below the horizon.

    Weather permitting, the brilliant line of light entered the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal through three high arched windows yearly, on or about December 5. The terminal was crowded with onlookers and fellow travelers. Nora Lansing, twenty-three years old, looked overwhelmed and lost in Grand Central Station. No suitcase, no coat, wearing a smudged pale blue dress, she appeared waif-like. She carried French currency in her purse. A chance meeting occurred with Joe Reynolds, a thirty-two year old railroad employee. Joe thought she looked "vivid and exciting" and was thrilled to walk Nora home. Enroute, she disappeared. In 1938, one year later, they happened upon each other again in the terminal. Joe asked, "Don't you ever wear a coat? It was snowing today. And is that your only dress?" Nora said, "This is just my traveling dress. Where I'm traveling from is not important". Nora is a "woman of mystery". Joe is intrigued.

    Joe Reynold's world is centered around Grand Central Station. He works as a leverman, pushing and pulling levers connected by underground cables to guide incoming trains into the terminal. Money is tight. Joe lives at the E. 47 St. YMCA. "Everyone I know grew up the day the stock market crashed". Joe however, was a dreamer. He would spin a globe and visualize a trip to wherever his finger landed. One thing was for certain, Joe was smitten. Wanting Nora was"...a constant dominating ache...could be soothed only by her actual touch." How was it possible that she disappeared again?

    Joe was perplexed. He had met the love of his life yet he couldn't fathom her sudden appearances and disappearances. Was it possible that the day Joe thought of as the start of his real life was the day Nora's life ended? A visit to the New York Public Library revealed newspaper clippings of a subway accident on December 5, 1925. Eleanor Lansing had died, but had she? As Joe aged, Nora was unaffected by time. She was always twenty-three. Joe and Nora had an "infinite love in a finite space". If they truly loved each other, should they let each other go?

    "Time After Time" by Lisa Grunwald was an awesome fairy tale-like love story. The love Nora and Joe shared transcended time, age and social class. I was totally invested in the lives of Nora and Joe. I slept less and read more! This was a very captivating literary novel of historical fiction I highly recommend.

    Thank you Random House Publishing Group-Random House and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "Time After Time".

  • Bandit

    I must say there was some initial reluctance going into this book. It sorta kinda sounded like women’s fiction, a very specific type of lachrymose sweeping romance. And wouldn’t you know, in the end it actually was a potentially tear inducing grand (Grand Central based) epic love story, but it was so, so good, I didn’t care. In fact, this book drew me in from the first few pages in a way few books do and managed to sustain that level of emotional engagement throughout its not inconsiderable girt

    I must say there was some initial reluctance going into this book. It sorta kinda sounded like women’s fiction, a very specific type of lachrymose sweeping romance. And wouldn’t you know, in the end it actually was a potentially tear inducing grand (Grand Central based) epic love story, but it was so, so good, I didn’t care. In fact, this book drew me in from the first few pages in a way few books do and managed to sustain that level of emotional engagement throughout its not inconsiderable girth. The description features literary comparisons to famous works (as these descriptions are won’t to do) and here they are actually not undeserved, although for me it was also very reminiscent of the movie Age of Adaline, mentioned nowhere, but a comparison in my opinion well deserved. Both tales of timeless women stuck in temporary challenged love stories are very lovely, albeit in their own ways. The lady that isn’t in a blue dress on the cover is Nora Lansing, a 23 year old spirited young woman who, due to a tragic and miraculous set of circumstances, gets stuck in the Grand Central in New York, her presence inextricably connected to a solar spectacle known as Manhattanhenge. There she meets and falls in love with a leverman, a mad wild crazy passionate love affair circumscribed by the seemingly impossible geographical restrictions not to mention familial obligations and then a world war. I probably shouldn’t say much more here, the description says it all, in fact the description gives away too much as descriptions often tend to, I’m glad I didn’t read it prior to reading the book. I wanted to be surprised and I was, pleasantly surprised, delighted, charmed. Actually love, yeah, not too strong of a word, I loved this book, which made some of much frustrations with it all the more…well, frustrating. And please do not read the following if you haven’t read the book, it might give away too much. If you’ve read up to now, you already know I recommend you read this book, but now it’s time for me to vent out some thoughts, so here it goes…Yeah, not everyone gets to ride off into the sunset together, but that doesn’t mean we aalk off into the sun alone, does it? Seriously? Why? Whatever became of love conquers all? Omnia vincit amor my ass. For all its grand romance, this ended up very much being one of those loves that altered when it alteration found. I’m not sure why self sacrificial love is so de rigueur, but frankly it just didn’t seem necessary. Dramatic, yes. But not necessary. Surely there can be found a way for one person in a couple to travel solo and then return to their loved one. My fiancé has done it marvelously. To go through all that the main characters go through and then separate for what seemed like fairly trivial reasons…frustrating. Yes, she would have stayed young, but so what, she would have aged mentally. For a couple that starts off with a 10 year age difference to suddenly make a huge deal out of a 20 year age difference later on seems silly. Yes, that may have been before celebrities have made such thing ubiquitous, but even back in the day it wasn’t unheard of…Chaplin, anyone. Yes, they wouldn’t have had kids, but so what, there are plenty of childless happy couples out there. Plus if Nora was so concerned for her rapidly aging beloved…maybe he was aging out of kid having age anyway. For all the sweeping grand romance of it, for all the waiting and all the challenges and all that magic, for all of it to end over what it ended over seemed to have trivialized their love. In fact it just seemed like two people who have sorted out their priorities and decided to call it quits and for various reasons (mainly because it makes the best story) told themselves and each other it was for their partner’s own good. Which is fine, it’s realistic and there are plenty of stories like that, but this just didn’t seem like that kind of story. This seemed like it ought to rise above all the tedious triviality of life. I mean, it had magic, real freaking magic. So you would have expected more. Well, anyway I did. I expected more. I was so engaged with the characters and their story, I actually wished them a proper fairy tale ending or something like it. After all, Age of Adaline worked it out. Plus the author in her afterword said she based it on her own relationship, which despite its challenges did not in fact come undone, so it made it all the more unfair that it should work out that way for the couple in the book. I mean, what sort of a message is that? Vampire Bill had to die to free Sookie Stackhouse to love and breed in an ordinary way. Or, more recently and of a much higher quality of entertainment, Jackson Maine went and offed himself to give his wife a chance at musical success. All this self sacrificial (or as the case in book, faux self sacrificial) crap can be packaged and sold as romantic, sure. But for me personally it seems that the greater romance is one that conquers challenges and works despite them, not one where you can glamorously walk off into the sun. There is much to be said about the selfishness of selflessness, but then again this already might be my longest review ever, so I should probably wrap it up. If you read the entire thing…wow and thank you. May this rant have enlightened or at least entertained you. I did love this book, despite all this. Thanks Netgalley.

  • Cheri

    3.5 Stars

    When Joe first sees Nora standing in Grand Central Station, she has no suitcase, or coat even though it was early in the December morning of 1937, barely dawn. She seemed completely out of place, and her clothing seemed from another time. He approaches her, offering assistance, information, whatever help she needs. He’s intrigued. When she tells him where she’s trying to go, Turtle Bay Gardens, he recognizes the neighborhood, as it’s only a few blocks away from the YMCA where he lives,

    3.5 Stars

    When Joe first sees Nora standing in Grand Central Station, she has no suitcase, or coat even though it was early in the December morning of 1937, barely dawn. She seemed completely out of place, and her clothing seemed from another time. He approaches her, offering assistance, information, whatever help she needs. He’s intrigued. When she tells him where she’s trying to go, Turtle Bay Gardens, he recognizes the neighborhood, as it’s only a few blocks away from the YMCA where he lives, as a significantly more posh area than his own humble dwellings. He offers to escort her home, and along the walk there, she vanishes.

    Joe is a leverman at this renowned terminal, and so when a year passes, and the solar event that occurs two mornings every year –where the rising sun lined up exactly with the east-west street grid of Manhattan – he is there to see her return. He’s more intrigued at first than smitten, but it isn’t long before he falls for Nora.

    Solving the dilemma of how to continue life this way is a matter of trying to avoid what has failed, and sticking to what they believe will keep Nora in the here and now (or then, as the case is), and with the Biltmore Hotel attached to the terminal, Nora can remain safely there, but there are family duties for Joe that pull him away periodically, and events that, ultimately, affect both of them.

    Since this is a book around a time-travel story, I wasn’t expecting everything to line up perfectly, but there were several things in this story that stood out to me and bothered me. Things that, for me, were somewhat blatant in not fitting in the era, and other things that were completely implausible, and not in a time-travel related way. For that reason this fell a bit short of ‘love’ for me, but I did enjoy this, overall. I just didn’t love it.

    The Winter Solstice event, Manhattanhenge, that used to occur in the morning hours and bathe Grand Central Station in its light on these fluctuating two mornings a year (weather permitting), is no longer visible in Grand Central Station. Progress - another building was built which blocks the sun’s rays from hitting the window from the east as it did before. And more’s the pity. The Summer Solstice event, Manhattanhenge, is still a significant draw for those looking for a more urban version of Stonehenge, and occurs as the sun sets over to the west. Of course other cities in other states and countries have similar times when the sun’s rays create magic, you just have to look for them.

    Pub Date: 11 Jun 2019

    Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group / Random House

  • Maine Colonial

    Thanks to the publisher for providing a free review copy via Netgalley.

    As with many other time travel romances, the central conflict is that the traveler doesn’t age the way the non-traveler does. Despite the repetition of that plot element, this is still a good story. Joe and Nora are engaging and believable characters, and it’s fascinating to see how cleverly they deal with the challenges of Nora apparently being confined to Grand Central Terminal. Most of the action takes place in the 1930s a

    Thanks to the publisher for providing a free review copy via Netgalley.

    As with many other time travel romances, the central conflict is that the traveler doesn’t age the way the non-traveler does. Despite the repetition of that plot element, this is still a good story. Joe and Nora are engaging and believable characters, and it’s fascinating to see how cleverly they deal with the challenges of Nora apparently being confined to Grand Central Terminal. Most of the action takes place in the 1930s and 1940s, a particularly vivid time in Grand Central history.

    For aficionados of time travel books, I should mention that this is not at all a science-bound time travel book. There are discoveries of a sort about what happened to cause Nora’s situation and what rules she is bound by, but you really don’t want to think too hard about them.

    I’m not going to say that this is a great work of literary fiction, but this book did remind me in a way of Amor Towles’s A Gentleman in Moscow. In both books, a character is forced to live for decades confined to one building. In both cases, it’s a large and many-faceted building, with workaday functions, hidden places and wonders, and its own regular cast of characters. The main character(s) make the building an entire world in itself, and the authors convey that in a way that makes the reader visualize a life in such a world.

    The story of Nora and Joe is a good one, but it’s the exploration of the world of Grand Central that takes this story into a magical realm.

    Be sure to read the author’s notes at the end of the book to learn about Grunwald’s two main inspirations for the book.

  • Cindy Burnett

    Time After Time has an interesting premise. Time travel set against the background of the Depression and then World War 2. However, the implementation of this idea fell flat for me. The characters did not feel well developed nor were they likable, and I had a hard time caring about them and their story lines. I particularly was not a fan of the ending. I think this was just not the book for me. I received this book to read and review.

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