Review of ‘The Space Between Time’ by Charlie Laidlaw

I enjoyed this quirky bittersweet novel. It’s narrated by Emma Maria Rossini, a Scottish-Italian girl. She’s an interesting character and it was her dry and witty observations that kept me reading.

Emma is the daughter of a famous film star, Paul Ross. He’s often away so she spends a lot of time with her mother Caitlin. Although the family are wealthy, they’re not happy. This a tale of tragedy and loss as Emma tries to make sense of the world. I would say it’s a character-driven novel. The themes include grief, mental health, fame and… astrophysics. Emma’s grandfather is a scientist whose work on particle theory, once dismissed, is now becoming more recognised. Bits of this science are scattered throughout the book, often used as metaphors for human situations. Every chapter is headed with a complicated equation.

Most of the story is set in various Scottish locations, including Edinburgh. I liked the sense of place and was absorbed in the experiences of Emma. The book was quite funny at times in an irreverent way. It’s more unusual (and laden with swear words) than the blurb suggests. I enjoyed the science element and thought that it gave a sense of wonder to the story. The only aspects I have to complain about are the length of the book (over 400 pages, which for me is a little over-long) and a few typos, including misspelling Pierce Brosnan’s name… twice.

I won this book in a WriteReads giveaway on Twitter.

Published in 2019 by Accent Press, UK.

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