“Jillian Cantor’s In Another Time is a love song to the most powerful of all human emotions: hope. It is the story of Max and Hanna, two star-crossed lovers fighting to stay together during an impossible moment in history. It is gripping, mysterious, romantic, and altogether unique. I was enchanted by this beautiful, heartbreaking novel.” — Ariel Lawhon, author of I Was Anastasia
A sweeping historical novel that spans Germany, England, and the United States and follows a young couple torn apart by circumstance leading up to World War II—and the family secret that may prove to be the means for survival.
1931, Germany. Bookshop owner Max Beissinger meets Hanna Ginsberg, a budding concert violinist, and immediately they feel a powerful chemistry. It isn’t long before they fall in love and begin making plans for the future. As their love affair unfolds over the next five years, Hitler comes to power. Their love is tested with the new landscape and the realities of war, not the least of which is that Hanna is Jewish and Max is not. But unbeknownst to Hanna is the fact that Max has a secret, which causes him to leave for months at a time—a secret that Max is convinced will help him save Hanna if Germany becomes too dangerous for her because of her religion.
In 1946, Hanna Ginsberg awakens in a field outside of Berlin. Disoriented and afraid, she has no memory of the past ten years and no idea what has happened to Max. With no information as to Max’s whereabouts—or if he is even still alive—she decides to move to London to live with her sister while she gets her bearings. Even without an orchestra to play in, she throws herself completely into her music to keep alive her lifelong dream of becoming a concert violinist. But the music also serves as a balm to heal her deeply wounded heart and she eventually gets the opening she long hoped for. Even so, as the days, months, and years pass, taking her from London to Paris to Vienna to America, she continues to be haunted by her forgotten past, and the fate of the only man she has ever loved and cannot forget.
Told in alternating viewpoints—Max in the years leading up to WWII, and Hanna in the ten years after—In Another Time is a beautiful novel about love and survival, passion and music, across time and continents.
Cantor (The Lost Letter) stumbles with this awkward blend of historical romance and science fiction. Through dual timelines and multiple points of view, Cantor tells the love story of Max Beissinger, a bookstore owner in the German town of Gutenstat, and Hanna Ginsberg, an earnest violin student. Their relationship is complicated because it's the early 1930s and Hanna is Jewish, but Max isn't. They remain together despite Germany's growing anti-Semitism, opposition from Hanna's family, and Max's occasional unexplained disappearances. In the second timeline, Hanna wakes up alone in a field outside Berlin in 1946, remembering nothing of the last 10 years. She joins her sister in London, where she carves out a career as a concert violinist and struggles to recover her memory. Hanna has a chance for new romance with a fellow violinist, but she still loves Max and wants to know what happened to him. Cantor weaves in a science fiction angle to explain Max's mysterious absences and possibly account for Hanna's lost years, but this element isn't fully developed, and the ending comes across as less a twist than a letdown. This won't go down as one of Cantor's finer works.
Page turner while pulling the heart strings
Well written, constantly on your toes turning the page to figure out how it all goes together.