"Jillian Westfield has a life straight out of the women’s magazines she obsessively reads. She’s got the modern-print rugs of Metropolitan Home, the elegant meals from Gourmet, and the clutter-free closets out of Real Simple. With her investment-banker husband behind the wheel and her cherubic eighteen-month-old in the backseat, hers could be the family in the magazines’ Range Rover ads.I generally quite enjoy these time travelling stories - everyone wonders "what if" every now and then, and I like how these type of books actually explore the "what ifs" and sort of make you think as well. There are just so many possibilities ...
Yet somehow all of the how-to magazine stories in the world can’t seem to fix her faltering marriage or stop her from asking "What if?"
Then one morning Jillian wakes up seven years in the past. She’s back in her Manhattan apartment. She’s back in her fast-paced job. And she’s still with Jackson, the ex-boyfriend, and star of her what-if fantasies.
Armed with twenty-twenty hindsight, she’s free to choose all over again. She can reconnect to the mother who abandoned her, she can use ad campaigns from her future to wow her clients, and she can fix the fights that doomed her relationship with Jackson.
Or can she?"
I this novel Jillian is dissatisfied with her picture perfect life. She adores her daughter Katie, but her marriage is falling apart - she and her husband Henry seem to have drifted apart as many couples do as time goes by. When she hears that her ex-boyfriend Jackson is getting married, she remembers their spontaneous relationship and wonders what would have been if they hadn't broken up. She gets the chance to find out after she is (rather unbelivevably) transported 7 years back, into the year 2000 when she was still with Jackson, had a job, before she met Henry and before her best friend died. Since she knows what will happen, she can correct the mistakes she did the first time around and even though she tries to alter the course of her life, she starts to reflect back on her life in 2007. Seeing things in a new light, she finally decides what really matters.
Firstly, I must admit the book failed to meet the high expectations I had for it, but that might be because I've been so busy lately that it took me too long to read and get properly engrossed into it. Perhaps that's why I didn't really connect with any of the characters, not even Jillian herself. I just couldn't feel for her enough, even though I enjoyed reading her story and did rather wonder where this trip back will lead her to.
Speaking of which, I found the ending quite rushed. I understand how Jillian made her decision, but I thought it all happened too quickly and drastically, making it seem like it was all a dream and she was simply waking up from it. I was pleased with the outcome as such, but I still think the book was quite complex and should thus be longer since I thought some subjects weren't explored in depth enough and the book left me wanting more.
What I liked most about the novel was the writing - I thought the language was beautiful and the language flowed easily, which is more than I could say for the plot, which I found rather slow-paced.
All in all, I thought this was a well-written and interesting novel that explores some rather complex topics, but to meet its potential it should be at least one hundred pages longer. But wahey, that's just silly ol' me - everyone else seems to have loved this book!
Have you reviewed it? Let me know and I'll add your review to this post. :)
overall rating: 3/5
plot: 3/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 3/5 | cover: 4/5