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Between Now and Then Paperback – April 5, 2015
Garth Brooks: The Anthology Part 1 | Limited Edition
A great gift for country music fans, The Anthology Part 1 includes CDs containing the music of Garth's first five years, and behind-the-scenes photographs and stories never before made public. Learn more
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A little confusing—maybe deliberately so—but an interesting idea, and the sense of place and time is excellent.
The sense of realism to the cross-Europe road trip from hell is a delight to read, the characters are fully fleshed out as the writer has a flair for nailing kitchen sink drama and the dialogue of real people. What isn't so clear is the slipping from one time period to another – what was supposed to convey an overlapping, or a slippage, between our protagonists time and memories and those held by their past selves ended up pulling me out of the world, forcing me to re-read to make sure I had properly understood what was actually happening. I'm glad this wasn't a straight-forward romance story, and no hint of Fate and Destiny working on the 'modern' time period. Not so sure of the time setting there though – while there was very good verisimilitude, the zeitgeist being nailed, it didn't seem to make much narrative sense, or, if it was deliberately chosen as a random time period to make the occurrences even more uncanny, that aspect wasn't stressed properly.
A real gem. It's tough to make a six-character ensemble piece work, but it does here because the author paints the three minor characters in rough strokes, enough to establish them for the book while leaving time to explore the main character and two others. My main quibble is that he spends the first third of the book setting up the characters, but I can't even be too bothered about that because I enjoyed them so much. When the plot gets going, it's great, the descriptions and emotions crisp and evocative, and the resolution satisfying without being predictable or unreal. Great writing, great characters, great story.