IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME by Beth Harbison

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A wealthy financier, unhappy with her loveless state, hits her head and wakes up back in high school, with a chance to rewrite her future.

Drinking champagne on a yacht during a party off the coast of Florida, Ramie Phillips knows she has an enviable life. And yet....When a friend announces her pregnancy and best friend Sammy confesses he and his partner are ready to adopt, 38-year-old Ramie wonders how long her job can replace everything else. Drunk and morose, she hits her head while diving overboard and wakes up in the bedroom of her family's Potomac house, 18 again. After the initial shock, Ramie digs into teenage life, now that she knows how it will all turn out. There are the inevitable victories of being 38 in an 18-year-old's body: telling off the mean girls, guilt-free sex with your teenage boyfriend, appreciating youth instead of trying to escape it. And then there's Ramie's father, still alive and well, even though she knows he'll die of a stroke in two years. Ramie isn't very interested in wielding her power (aside from asking her dad to quit smoking or assuring bestie Tanya her latest crush isn't “the one”), focused as she is on her own fears of ending up alone at 38. Instead of breaking up with Brendan as she did the first time she was a teenager, what if she did things differently? The next time she wakes up she's 26 and living an entirely different life than the one she had (no London School of Economics, no brunches in Manhattan) and is instead pregnant—and by all accounts, miserable. But this is not the end of Ramie's journey, which goes somewhere countless other alternate-reality fictions have gone before.

The fun of Harbison's (Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger, 2013, etc.) conceit is overshadowed by its clichéd ending.

Pub Date: July 28th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-250-04381-8
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:




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