The Space Between Time
There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth...
Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She's the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She's also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.
But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather's Theorem on the universe.
The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.
Author: Charlie Laidlaw
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama/ Dark Comedy
Paperback, 448 pages
Publisher: Accent Press Ltd
Publication Date: June 20th, 2019
ISBN: 1786156946 (ISBN13: 9781786156945)
"Entanglement is the quantum theory of nonlocality and describes the ability of objects to instantaneously know about each other's state, even though separated by large distances... It means that the cosmos may be connected in ways we don't yet understand."
I will be easy for me to gush about this novel because I do think that Laidlaw understands. He understands the intricacies of human emotions and the connectivity of all things in relation to others. This is clearly imbued throughout this novel as the fabric of the plot grows into a beautiful tapestry illustrating hindsight that relishes of a life lived, chances dealt, peace sought and forgiveness to be found.
The Space Between Time is a coming of age story that begins with Emma Rossini's childhood growing up with one parent being a famous actor, her father, and the other her mother, a beautiful more introverted but supportive foundation at home.
Each chapter begins with a scientific formula, an expression of what has influenced Emma's life or what will be talked about in the chapter. Why is this? Well, Emma's Italian grandfather is an astrophysicist who created the Rossini Theorem and has influenced Emma's life in many ways. A beautiful way to connect Emma's chaotic life as it is in the middle of the book with the science behind the cosmos and an understanding of her place in this world.
I enjoyed this novel immensely. At first, it starts off so normal. A family, togetherness, and bantering around. But then it becomes clear, that behind the scenes, things aren't what they seem to be. Isn't it always that way?
Emma's mother is a very sensitive person. Her father is climbing the ranks of fame and the marriage and family life begin to suffer. As a child, this isn't so obvious to Emma, but as she gets older, she is beginning to form her own opinions on the matter. As her dad's absence is immediately impacting her own life and she finds herself alone on Christmas with her mother, not even a call from her father who is away to shoot a movie, as usual, she begins to get upset and the roots of resentment instill.
With fame, comes a move to a bigger house, to bigger things in life and to more chaos as Emma finds her mother dead on a nearby cliff. This is the straw that breaks the camels back. As soon as Emma is old enough, she moves away, gets her education and changes her name. She does not want to be associated with her father's fame. To her, her father is dead.
Emma's grandparents are her saving grace. Even though they moved back to Italy, they are always involved with her and she continues to visit them. Her grandfather's theorem by her side, her interest in his ideas begin to attract her curiosity and understanding. When things are at their worst in Emma's life, it is part of what saves her in the end.
"My grandfather had found the missing part of the universe. I'd been looking for the missing part of me. Maybe, for my father, the missing part of both of us."
A letter from Emma's father, read long after she received it, is a moving piece towards her way of forgiveness.
This is a moving book. It is unexpected. Poignantly written it stretches the reader's emotion and connectivity that could reflect one's own experiences. Not in all ways but in many. Loss, grief, anger, love are all emotions we can relate to but may perceive differently as we get older. This novel illustrates this perfectly. Though flawed characters comes an understanding of faults that can burden without ones want for it, a lack of undoing through unseized moments neither purposely or not, are the chances missed and the spaces unfilled that lead to resentment or loss.
Perhaps by a lifetime lived are we granted the ability to understand it all and forgive. If we are wiser, perhaps sooner!
Personally, I have always been an old soul with extreme intuitiveness. What I lacked in my younger years was the space that needs to be filled by life experiences to make all connections. What spoke to me about this novel is the 436-page journey that eloquently showed a path of life as it comes full circle. From humorous moments to dead ends, many facets and situations make this novel a joy to read with characters to love and hate. It spoke my language, I connected with it and really enjoyed it. Even more so then Laidlaw's previous novel.
If you need a book to feel again or feel something, this is a good one to try. It had me teary-eyed for sure.
I received a physical copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions are my own.