This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've seen a lot of comparisons of this book with The Midnight Library, but honestly, I see more in comparison with a 2013 film called About Time, starring Bill Nighby, Domhnall Gleeson, and Rachel McAdams. It's a light 'what if' time travel novel that's unburdened with anything like pesky reasons, but it has a good deal of heart.
My main concern with these kinds of literary-type time travel novels is that they are either too concerned with characters and learning something or they get bogged down in consistency issues or break beneath the strain.
There are some, however, that just keep it light, keep it emotional, and don't bother with anything but the human side of the equation, and this one fits that bill. I admit I enjoyed it for exactly what it was: a tale of family love, of a father and daughter, of growing up and death. It was sweet, but not sickly sweet.
I will mention one thing that I appreciate about it. Most good SF knows its readers. Most will know the nerdy stuff and appreciate it. Some writers will try for something light like this and flub it with the fan base because it isn't self-aware, knowledgeable of the wider genre, or because it just doesn't care.
I'm happy to say that Emma Straub did an admirable job of hitting that sweet spot, acknowledging that which has come before, and making her novel a heart-felt addition to the wider conversation.
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