Title: The Space Between Time
Author: Charlie Laidlaw
Publication Date: 20th June 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Humor
I believe in the unique power of ideas, right or wrong, and that it’s our thoughts that shape our existence. We are who we believe ourselves to be.
Emma Maria Rossini is the narrator of the story. The Space between Time is the story of her life. It is also the story of how one perceives things – about life and everything else. The story will make you laugh and cry. You will fall in love with little Emma’s innocence and you will feel bad for adult Emma’s mishappenings in life. Nobody said life is fair. But if it had, would it be worth living such a life?
The book is divided into three parts. The first part is about Emma’s childhood and it ends with Emma’s mother’s death and Emma’s first visit to the hospital and a psychiatrist. In the second part of the story, the reader is introduced to the tweenish Emma. She now goes by her second name, Maria, she and Patsy (the odd girl from her school) are now flatmates and best friend. After finishing college, Maria works as a reporter along with the other Maria – whom she met at her new-flatmate-warming celebrations. Maria (Emma) still feels that something is missing in her life.
But am I learning anything about myself? Do I feel better about myself? Probably not, but I now realize that nobody can travel under a false passport forever.
After her mother’s death, she’s never felt good. There were times when she was happy and it was followed by bouts of sadness and something dark that she just couldn’t explain or understand. Emma’s dad is a renowned film actor and after gaining fame, he was never at home. Missing birthdays to being away from home for a longer duration, Emma’s relationship with her dad is in troubled waters. And since her mother’s death in a freak lightning strike, Emma feels even more distanced from her dad. After his death, Emma feels even worse.
Alberto might have been called a quirky physicist but he was a loving grandfather. He and Emma have a deep connection, something that extended beyond space and time. As Emma tries to understand more and more of what Grandpa’s theorem predicts, she understands the complexities of life – the complexities that we all feel bound to.
What does a caged bird sing of? Of a freedom it’s never known? To call for a mate who will never hear her? Or is it simply singing; I tweet therefore I am?
The story explores every part of human life. From relationships down to the question of our own existence, the reader is in for a wonderful journey. Charles Laidlaw has beautifully explained every detail wonderfully -the way Emma harms herself – the dark waters and Emma drowning in it and the same time, struggling to reach the surface. Another interesting point to note is the relationship that Emma shares with Patsy, Knox – the grumpy cat who seems to like only Emma and Oz.
You read so many books, self-help and whatnot, just to find out more about yourself. It might merely be a question of who am I? Or, why am I here? This book might not give you direct answers as to who you are – we are all unique in our own way so there’s no point in generalizing, isn’t it? But you will find some answers here, as to how it all makes sense in the end. Every little experience, every person that you have met so far – it was all meant to be.
We once had this lesson in school where the person questions his existence. Our teacher asked, have you ever felt the need to discover who you are and why are you here? I was the only one who said yes and my classmates laughed at me. Looking back at it now, I feel, was I the only one who felt the need to question our existence? I have come across many people who live, as they say, because they are alive. I think it makes no sense to say, I live because I do. It might not be a question of purpose but at least the experiences that we have should count up to something right?
But sometimes, unwittingly and unwillingly, I can see patterns: that one thing leads to another, and another. Maybe, that’s the story of everyone’s life, the random connections that we make, the coincidental meetings, and the inconsequential events that only later gain purpose or significance.
I have read a lot many books in the past couple of years. Have gone through a traumatic experience – both health-wise and in personal life, I was searching for answers. Like Emma, I too am on a quest to find out about the whole purpose of our existence. Why do we suffer? Why do we have to go through what we did? Are there parallel universes where there is someone like us, experiencing perhaps the same thing that we are, right now?
Reading this book might not give you scientific explanations or state theorems that might prove the existence of parallel universes or big bang theory, but it does tell you that life is worth living it. No matter how bad the situation might seem, it shall pass too. And you are not alone, never!
Usually, each chapter of a book is either numbered or titled, isn’t it? But in this book, the beginning of a chapter is an equation, the solution of which is the chapter number and the chapter title is mostly related to a theorem. Eg.; The last chapter is called The Chandrasekhar Limit and there is an equation too, the solution of which is the chapter number. This is really a very witty and intelligent inclusion by the author. Also, the amount of research he’s done to write this book is praiseworthy. Hats off to you, Charles!
I highly recommend this book. Whether you are a space enthusiast or looking for answers about life or just someone who loves to read, you must read this book. Charles Laidlaw is a wonderful and brilliant storyteller. I was hooked on to the story from the very beginning. The Space Between Time is an awe-inspiring story of a girl who is on a quest called life.
Many thanks to Charlie for giving me the opportunity to read this book.