From the author of Left (over 25,000 sold), a love story for fans of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife and Jack Finney’s Time and Again. If you had the chance to go back and fix the past, could you change the outcome and outrun your destiny?
Sam Baird is lost. Is she experiencing a bout of amnesia or worse, slipping into the depths of madness? Her memories have been erased and everything she thought she knew is gone. She cannot even be certain of her name. She looks at the man standing beside her at the lake’s edge, but he is focused on something poking out from the water. She hears a whisper. Has he said something to her? Or is it just her intuition, warning her?
She closes her eyes, but there is nothing except darkness. The man beside her is both a stranger and strikingly familiar. She knows this man, and she has been in this exact moment—with this man, in this place, in this time—before. But this time is different.
Because this time, she runs.
Slowly, things begin to fall into place. She remembers now that she is supposed to move to New York City. She is supposed to get her law degree. She has her whole life planned. Running was the right choice, the safe choice.
But if Sam has really made the right choice this time, then why is it that she cannot stop thinking about the man at the lake? And why is it that he has jumped from her visions into her reality?
Is she bound to this man and this life? Or is she strong enough to stray from the path she had always believed she was destined to walk?
Ossowski (Left) considers how a person's destiny is shaped by their decisions in this muddled time-jumping thriller. Salmon, who goes by Sam, is caught in two versions of reality: one in which she follows her mother's plan for her to go to college and become a lawyer, and another in which she follows her heart to be with the man she loves. The story opens with Sam squatting near a lake, near a man she doesn't recognize but who feels very familiar. After running away, her world goes dark, and suddenly she is back in her normal life with roommate Susan, planning their imminent move to New York City. As Sam packs up her things, she begins to recollect more memories, and she comes to the realization that Sol the man from what she thought was a dream does exist, and that she also recalls many intimate details about him. As Sam tries to make sense of both realities, she realizes she must choose a path. Unfortunately, the plot is weak from the start, never explaining the mechanism or point behind the fracturing of Sam's reality. Sam's voice is also stunted by her flat, emotionless response to what is happening to her, leaving the reader at a distance. A redemptive ending and many twists fail to save this frustratingly opaque story.