If I Could Turn Back Time
by Beth Harbison
Published by St. Martin Press
July 28, 2015 release date
I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Ramie Phillips is celebrating her 37 birth day with friends on a yacht and thinks she has it all. Single, wealthy and successful, she has never regretted the decisions she mad that led her where she is. The joyful pregnancy announcement sends Ramie reeling and she proceeds to get good and drunk. When she her drunken dive winds up smashing her head on the boat, Ramie wakes up- not 37, but 18 and in high school. As she relives the days leading up to her high school graduation, she begins to second guess her big choices- what and where to study in college, breaking up with her high school sweetheart, etc.
This was a fun, fast book that I really enjoyed. I loved the beginning and the end, but felt the middle became bogged down with too much “reflection” that really didn’t tie into the story or the main character. It felt like it disrupted the flow of the story in order to make it major meaningful. Once past that, it was really terrific, and I loved the ending (no spoilers). I love the idea of revising major life decisions and possibly seeing the aftermath of the path not taken.
Thirty-seven year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous, and she enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But despite it all, she can’t ignore the fact that she isn’t necessarily happy. In fact, lately Ramie has begun to feel more than a little empty.
On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives off…
Suddenly Ramie is waking up, straining to understand a voice calling in the distance…It’s her mother: “Wake up! You’re going to be late for school again. I’m not writing a note this time…”
Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she’s lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she’ll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?