A fantastic jaunt through time and human connections. Kate Mascarenhas’s debut novel weaves science, mystery and emotion together into a taut, well-written whole. Being recognised as one of many recent narratives about time-travelling lesbians is significant, but not the only quality of The Psychology of Time Travel worthy of praise.
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Feminist & LGBTQ Themes
The story is about several women affected by the invention and normalisation of time travel, while a romantic core emerges through layers of gender-defying elements. All the main characters, including the scientists that make time-travel possible and the executives running the show after, are female. The one who solves the tangle and saves the day? A badass woman with a heart. Ambition, inquisitiveness, bravery, anger – each character shines with qualities fancied non-feminine by conventional ideologies.
As an avid fan of psychology, the title grabbed my attention, particularly for its momentous possible interpretations. The Psychology of Time Travel does indeed discuss the concept of travelling through time, its technicalities and implications. It makes sense that one major consequence of the extraordinary, but also disturbing, things a time-traveller could experience is a change in their perception of life. Emotional and social stability, not to mention morality, are affected on many levels. All of these issues are explored through the narrative’s intricate construction.
The definition of “good writing” is, more or less, subjective, but there are characteristics shared among works of quality literature. The Psychology of Time Travel has some of these. What I loved the most was the preciseness of descriptions. Every word was there for a reason, hooking my attention and maintaining an effective pace. Nothing felt redundant. Another vital part of a good narrative are the characters. Thanks to this book’s focus on psychology, the personalities it delivers are intricate and natural, more than capable of supporting the story’s intriguing plot, themes and messages.
This is an expertly crafted book with deep substance and purpose. It’s another example of great cover design, courtesy of Helen Crawford-White. Mascarenhas’s next works are eagerly anticipated.
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