Book Review: The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

In 2021, I set about challenging myself to read 40 books. Some were shorter quick reads that I read within a day or so, others were longer that took me a week or two to get through. Part of this was also clearing the “Currently Reading” list on my Goodreads profile. (I have the tendency to start too many books and not finish them! The list currently stands at 20 – can I clear it by the end of the year? 15 days – it might be pushing it but I can certainly reduce it!)

I really enjoyed reading The Psychology of Time Travel, I loved that the major of the characters were female and the men in it were almost supporting roles in the outskirts of the story. I did find it a little challenging to keep up with who was who and “when was who” – especially when silver and green selfs were muddling up in different time periods.

I like the idea of the psychological effects of time travel as well as how it affects the mental health of the characters. I regularly watch shows like Doctor Who, Star Trek and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow which all deal with time travel in their own way but nearly all have the idea that if you cross your own timeline you can cause a paradox – whereas Mascarenhas has “silver” and “green” selfs mixing together causing no issues along the way – or maybe that adds to the mind-boggling experience too. Although the story starts with a group of women building a time machine in the 1960s it bounces through various different time zones, with a multitude of perspectives along the way. A large part of the story is the mysterious dead body found in 2017. How do you catch a killer that could be from anywhere or anytime? It’s not easy, that’s for sure, especially when the victim can’t be identified either. No papers or identification…

Like an Agatha Christie novel, the killer could be anyone, your future self may know that you did it but your present self wouldn’t have a clue – or maybe your future self went back to do something in the past that had consequences in the future. (Yes you might need a lie down after some reading sessions! At one point I sat down and drew a chart of who was related to who and how because I was a bit muddled – it was like a family tree of sorts!) I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to see if Kate Mascarenhas publishes any more books.

Also, I think if I had seen the cover on the shelf in a bookshop I think the embroidery would have caught my eye. Maybe that’s a theme of books to read – how many have embroidery themed illustrations on their covers?

Have you got a reading book on the go? Do you track/record what you’ve been reading?

2 comments

  1. Corinne says:

    This sounds so good! I am a big fan of Dr Who who and time travel does fascinate me. I guess the ability to time travel to throw a spanner into the works when trying to figure out who did it!

    Corinne x

    • Hannah says:

      So something that is set up quite early on is that you can observe what has happened in the past but you can’t change events. So you can’t go back and save someone from being killed but you can visit them just before and hold their hand as they go or tell them that you love them (if it’s like a family member for instance).

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