In Another Time
Book Review - In Another Time by Jillian Cantor
I first heard about In Another Time by Jillian Cantor from another author about 3 months ago. For the life of me I can’t remember which author had posted about it, but she must have loved it because I reached out to Jillian directly to discuss a book review and author interview. One of my favorite ways to discover new authors and books is through connections with authors I’ve been reading for years. I like to follow my favorite authors on Facebook and Instagram because they often post about books they are reading well in advance of the book’s publication date. It gives me a good idea of what I should look forward to reading in the months to come.
I was particularly interested in In Another Time by Jillian Cantor because of the WWII connection. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, or you know me personally, you know I wrote my dissertation on WWII war brides. So it will come as no surprise that I enjoy reading WWII novels because of that. (Side note: reading WWII novels is WAY more fun than writing a dissertation…shocker, I know.) The book is about the relationship between Max Beissinger, a bookshop owner, and Hanna Ginsberg, a budding violinist. They live in Germany and their love begins to bloom on the brink of WWII. Max uses a family secret to save Jewish families, often causing him to disappear months at a time, something that causes a riff between Max and Hanna. One day, Hanna wakes up in an empty field and lost 10 years worth of memories. The story pieces together how Hanna ended up in the field and whatever happened to Max.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable read. There is a touch of mystical realism (think Time Traveler’s Wife meets Secrets of a Charmed Life) but based enough in reality that the magical parts weren’t annoying or distracting. I’m not much of science fiction or mystical realism fan, usually. But if you enjoyed the Time Traveler’s Wife, you’ll also enjoy this book. I thought the relationships between Max and Hanna, Hanna and her violin, and Hanna and her family were really well done. The complexities in the relationships were nuanced, the author does a brilliant job making these fictional characters come to life.