In This Moment by Gabrielle Meyer
Do you love Christian fiction but you want to try something completely new? Let me show you my new favorite series, perfect for lounging around by the pool this summer — The Timeless series by Gabrielle Meyer! And today, we’re taking a closer look at my most anticipated read of the year, the second book in the sequel — In This Moment.
Maggie inherited a gift from her time-traveling parents that allows her to live three separate lives in 1861, 1941, and 2001. Each morning, she awakes in a different time period without any time having passed. The catch? She has until her twenty-first birthday to choose which time period she wants to live the rest of her life in — forfeiting the other two forever.
Just like the first book in this series, the premise for this novel is fresh and absolutely riveting. Time travel stories often include a main character who travels backward or forward in time to an unfamiliar era, and is therefore forced to navigate and confront unknown expectations or realities. In this series, the main character is born into multiple time periods. This means that she is fully comfortable and at home in each of them. While she cannot intentionally change history (or she’ll forfeit that time period forever) she carries with her the skills and knowledge gained in each of her other lives.
In this book, Maggie is a highly driven and motivated character. She knows what she wants from life — to help heal others, working as a nurse or doctor in her various lives. Because she knows she will ultimately give up two time periods, she’s desperate to gain all the knowledge and life skills she can. This is especially apparent in Maggie’s 2001 life where she’s already a third-year resident doctor — the youngest ever. At first, this feels extremely far-fetched… Until you realize that despite the fact Maggie looks twenty years old in 2001, she’s cumulatively lived over 60 years!
Little details like this make the story a lot of fun. They also emphasize the fact that Meyers thought through the time travel rules really well. Any time I had a question as a reader, Meyers addressed it soon after.
There are also some subtle links between time periods — for example, Maggie has a familial connection to the President in each era and visits the White House in all three lives. So yes, you have to suspend some disbelief (it is a novel about time travel after all!) but it was thoroughly enjoyable to let myself be swept away for the ride. Each time period also felt well-researched and fully distinct, with memorable characters and plot points in each.
One of the main driving aspects of this novel is which time period Maggie will ultimately choose to live in for the rest of her life. (I guessed wrong!) There are some light faith moments woven in throughout the story, as Maggie struggles with knowing where God is leading her.
At the very start of the book, Maggie meets a different man in each of her lives and finds herself drawn to all of them. The romance throughout is clean and sweet, and it was fun to try and figure out which mand and time period Maggie would pick. My one critique with this, however, is that throughout the novel, Maggie spends a lot of time trying to figure out how to pick the life she wanted to live. She wrestles with who she really is and how she can best live out her calling as a healer. In the end, it felt like it mostly came down to which man she wanted to be with. While I completely understand that this is a key part of the life she wants to live, it also wasn’t quite the strong reasoning that I felt had been building throughout the novel.
While the ending wasn’t the jaw-dropping experience I had in the first book, In This Moment contained its fair share of the unexpected! I flew through this novel in a day and am already excitedly awaiting news of the third installment in this brilliant series.
About the book:
(From the publisher): Maggie inherited a gift from her time-crossing parents that allows her to live three separate lives in 1861, 1941, and 2001. Each night, she goes to sleep in one time period and wakes up in another. Until she turns twenty-one, when she will have to forfeit two of those lives–and everyone she knows in them–forever.
In 1861, Maggie is the daughter of a senator at the outbreak of the Civil War, navigating a capital full of Southern spies and wounded soldiers. In 1941, she is a navy nurse, grappling with her knowledge of the future when she joins a hospital ship going to Pearl Harbor. And in 2001, she’s a brilliant young medical student, fulfilling her dream of becoming a surgeon.
While Maggie has sworn off romance until she makes her final choice, an intriguing man tugs at her heart in each era, only complicating the impossible decision she must make, which looms ever closer. With so much on the line, how can Maggie choose just one life to keep and the rest to lose?