“Road to Yesterday” by Greta Cribbs

This book is a rarity in the Time Travel genre. It talks a lot about time travel, because the characters are aware from the first chapter that their lives are being manipulated. However, the author makes no effort to explain how time travel works or to explain anything else, for that matter. The story goes on the assumption that what is, is, and what has happened, has happened, will happen, and there is no point in worrying about it. Very refreshing for those of us who are tired of the same old “time travel paradox” which I won’t bore you with, because this author doesn’t.

Because that is not what the story is about. It is not about travelling in time. It is about people and how their past lives and relationships affect them. It is also the story of families, and how they function together.

This is the tale of four young adults, beautifully portrayed products of a dysfunctional family, who are allowed, through a slip in time, to work through their former relationships in order to discover how much they really mean to each other. It is the story of ultimate sacrifice and the meaning of family. Other than that, the novel is an emotional rollercoaster, as the family members try to deal with the possible death of one of them, which reaches a climax when they realize that they actually have a choice as to which one of them will die.

Most interesting (and least likeable) is Vi, the older sister, the emotional one, who reacts to everything in a huge way, driving the family forward, literally and figuratively, with her energy and her anger. The least forceful sibling is Kim, the first person narrator. Like many youngest children, she is ideally suited for the role, used to sitting by and observing while her older siblings carry the action. The two older brothers, Alex and Kyle, spend the story struggling with their respective worth to the family, climaxed by the argument over which one’s death will be of most benefit to all the others.

The only element in this emotionally realistic story that requires suspension of our disbelief is the mysterious time traveller, who appears and does his job of not explaining everything at all, and disappears without justifying his presence in any way. But we accept unexplainable factors in our real lives, so why not in this story?

Highly recommended for fans of Time Travel and Realistic Fiction alike

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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