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Friday, March 22, 2024

The Day Tripper by James Goodhand

The Day Tripper by James Goodhand
Published by MIRA ISBN 9780778367646
Hardcover, $28.99, 368 pages

From the publisher:

What if you lived your days out of order?

It’s 1995, and twenty-year-old Alex Dean has it all: a spot at Cambridge University next year, the love of an amazing woman named Holly and all the time in the world ahead of him. That is until a brutal encounter with a ghost from his past sees him beaten, battered and almost drowning in the Thames.

He wakes the next day to find he’s in a messy, derelict room he’s never seen before, in grimy clothes he doesn’t recognize, with no idea of how he got there. A glimpse in the mirror tells him he’s older—much older—and has been living a hard life, his features ravaged by time and poor decisions. He snatches a newspaper and finds it’s 2010—fifteen years since the fight.

After finally drifting off to sleep, Alex wakes the following morning to find it’s now 2019, another nine years later. But the next day, it’s 1999. Never knowing which day is coming, he begins to piece together what happens in his life after that fateful night by the river.

Why does his life look nothing like he thought it would? What about Cambridge, and Holly? In this page-turning adventure, Alex must navigate his way through the years to learn that small actions have untold impact, even in a life lived out of order. And that might be all he needs to save the people he loves and, equally importantly, himself.

My thoughts:

James Goodhand's time travel novel leaves the reader with much to ponder. The only person he knows who comprehends what he is going though is Dr. Defrates, a professor at a local school. While Alex goes back and forth in time, he finds that making different decisions while in the past can change his future.

Dr. Defrates tells him that if he can "make more good changes, you might reap more benefit. Commit to making real difference, those changes may begin to add up. Good decisions lead to good decisions, just as bad decisions beget more bad decisions."

Alex sees this live out as he wakes up in different time periods of his life. Goodhand does a terrific job placing the reader in Alex's shoes. Can you imagine waking up on your wedding day and not recognizing anyone at your wedding and not knowing who your bride is? 

The reader finds oneself rooting for Alex to make good decisions, and feeling empathy for him when he does not. He wants desperately to find out what went wrong with him and his true love Holly, why they are not together in some versions of his life. Can he correct his past wrongs and get back to her?

Ultimately, The Day Tripper is a rewarding and uplifting story and if this doesn''t encourage the reader to reflect on the decisions made in their own life, I'm not sure what would. I recommend The Day Tripper.

Thanks to Harlequin for putting me on their Winter 2024 Blog Tours.

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