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Chapter 12 - If I Could Turn Back Time

I have noticed recently that there are a lot of books out and being published which are about turning back time for a life do-over. I find this curious as a 60-plus year old because most of the books are about people in their late 30's and early 40's who wish they could do this. I started to do a little research into when these books were written thinking that perhaps it was during COVID when people were home and were contemplating their mortality. The answer is not really. Many of these books are from a few years back so it wasn't necessarily a COVID thing.

In going a little further down the rabbit hole I discovered that for many of the books, the authors were getting ready to hit milestone birthdays at the time of writing the book- like 30, 40, and 50. So that may explain a lot. Perhaps as we hit milestone birthdays we consider how our lives are and how they could have been. When Dave and I have discussed this in the past we remain very content with how our lives have played out and all the past has given us this present. Anyway if you are looking for a novel about life do-overs here are a few suggestions for you.

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett - This is a fun novel about how a small decision can change our lives. While riding her bike to Cambridge, Evie swerves to miss a dog in her path and crashes. Jim helps her up and their lives start down a path but it switches three times over the years based on their decisions. A good story about the paths not taken.

The Midnight Library or How to Stop Time by Matt Haig - The do-over seems to be one of Matt Haig's favorite themes. The Midnight Library is about a woman whose cat is run over and she loses her job on the same day. Thinking about taking her own life she ends up in a library run by her middle school librarian. Here she is able to see how her life would have been if she had chosen different paths. In How to Stop Time, Tom Hazard looks like a normal History teacher but his secret is that he has lived through several centuries. As long as he changes who he is he can keep one step ahead of his past - and stay alive. The only thing he must not do is fall in love . . .

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - This is an older book by Atkinson which I mentioned quite a few years ago but it is still a good one. Ursula Todd is born in 1910, is born and immediately dies. She is then born again and her life continues in this way. As she grows she dies multiples times and her unique ability may give her the power to save the world.

If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison - Another older book but a good one. Ramie Philips has been very successful in life and at 37 she is always in the right place hobnobbing with all the rightly famous people. As she nears 40 and reflects on her life, she realizes she is not happy. On a boat with friends in Florida, focusing on her discontent, she dives off the diving board and wakes up with her mother telling her it is time for school. By going back in time can she find a way to happiness in her future?

Fancy Meeting You Here by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus - If you decided to read this book make sure you get the right one as there are several by this name out there. Evie Berry is a 30-something bored with her job and wanting to be a screenwriter. She fantasizes about Hugo Hearst, a famous writer, and wonders how her life would have turned out if she had met him when he was a struggling writer. After a visit to a psychic, she ends up going back ten years in the past and finds out maybe some things were not as she remembered.

Have you ever thought about how a changed choice may have made your life different? Let me know.


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