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The Time Between [NOOK Book]

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Karen White delivers a novel of two generations of sisters and secrets set in the stunning South Carolina Lowcountry.

Eleanor Murray will always remember her childhood on Edisto Island, where her late father, a local shrimper, shared her passion for music. Now her memories of him are all that tempers the guilt she feels over the accident ...
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The Time Between

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Karen White delivers a novel of two generations of sisters and secrets set in the stunning South Carolina Lowcountry.

Eleanor Murray will always remember her childhood on Edisto Island, where her late father, a local shrimper, shared her passion for music. Now her memories of him are all that tempers the guilt she feels over the accident that put her sister in a wheelchair—and the feelings she harbors for her sister’s husband.

To help support her sister, Eleanor works at a Charleston investment firm during the day, but she escapes into her music, playing piano at a neighborhood bar. Until the night her enigmatic boss walks in and offers her a part-time job caring for his elderly aunt, Helena, back on Edisto. For Eleanor, it’s a chance to revisit the place where she was her happiest—and to share her love of music with grieving Helena, whose sister recently died under mysterious circumstances.

An island lush with sweetgrass and salt marshes, Edisto has been a peaceful refuge for Helena, who escaped with her sister from war-torn Hungary in 1944. The sisters were well-known on the island, where they volunteered in their church and community. But now Eleanor will finally learn the truth about their past: secrets that will help heal her relationship with her own sister—and set Eleanor free....
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Fourteen years after an accident left her sister Eve paralyzed and herself guilt-ridden, Eleanor Murray struggles to atone--not only for the accident, but also for falling in love with her brother-in-law, Glen. The accident fractured the family, dashing Eve's future as a beauty pageant contestant. And after their father dies, Eleanor's dreams of playing piano at Juilliard dissolve. Their mother holds Eleanor responsible for keeping together the family she broke apart. Eve knows she should forgive Eleanor, but she can't quite let go of her anger. Glen, too, is torn between his commitment to Eve and his attraction to Eleanor. Balancing her work at a law office with caring for her mother, sister and brother-in-law, Eleanor too often finds that neither time nor money will stretch far enough. So she arrives late or leaves early, grateful that her boss, Finn Beaufain--the handsome, gray-eyed, divorced father of an adorable yet fragile daughter--tolerates her erratic schedule. She gets dinner on the table, bathes her sister, placates her arthritic mother and occasionally slips on a slinky red dress to play piano at a local dive, hoping someone might offer her solace in his unfamiliar arms. Finding her at the bar one night, Finn gives her a chance: a chance to recover her lost self and perhaps a chance at love. Finn gives her a job caring for his aunt Helena on Edisto Island, where Eleanor grew up. White (After the Rain, 2012, etc.) once again crafts characters who transcend their romantic roles through their frailties and weaknesses. An appealing romance with intergenerational resonance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101614112
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 13,746
  • File size: 790 KB

Meet the Author

Karen White

Karen White is the award-winning author of sixteen previous books (After the Rain, Return to Tradd Street). She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.
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Read an Excerpt

The first time I died was the summer I turned seventeen. I remember the air being so hot you could smell the pluff mud baking in the sun, the scent sulfur-sweet and strong enough to curl your toes, the tall stems of sweetgrass listless, their tips bowed in submission. Blood sat like melted copper in my open mouth as I rose above my broken body, splayed like a rag doll beside the dirt road. Let me go, I thought as I hovered, weightless. But I felt the pull of a gossamer thread of conscience and retribution that tethered me to this earth. Before I heard the screams of the sirens and my mother’s wailing, I knew I wouldn’t stay dead for long.

I watched, suspended between this world and the next, as my mother bent over Eve’s body, my sister’s legs bent in ways they shouldn’t have been. Two paramedics worked on her, trying to push my mother away, while another noticed me, my body nearly hidden in the thick underbrush by the side of the road. He squatted next to me, his fingers reaching for the pulse in my neck. I felt none of this. I watched passively, as if I were a spectator in a movie theater.

I noticed that the paramedic was young, with thick blond hair on his head and muscled forearms that reflected the sunlight and reminded me of the sweetgrass. I was studying him so intently that I didn’t realize that he’d begun to perform CPR. Still I felt nothing. I was more focused on my sister and on my mother, who hadn’t looked in my direction yet. I hadn’t really expected her to.

And there was Glen, tall and slender and strong, moving between Eve and me, helpless to do anything, his frantic pacing only stirring up dust.

I heard my name called and thought for a moment it might be my father come to take me away—away from the two broken girls and screaming mother and the air that moved in hot, thick waves. Flies buzzed and dipped over the thin trail of blood from my open mouth, but I couldn’t hear them or feel them. I was thinking somebody needed to swat them away when I noticed for the first time the wooden church set back behind the trees. When Eve and I had walked our bikes down the dirt road just a short time before, giggling like the little girls we had once been, I hadn’t seen it. It seemed impossible that I couldn’t have.

The bright, whitewashed walls and tall steeple shone like a benediction in the relentless sunlight. The words PRAISE HOUSE were hand painted over the top of the arched red door, and a fence with a rusty gate swung as if spirits were passing through. It made no sense for the church to be where it was, nestled between the giant oaks and bright green undergrowth. But the white paint glowed in the sun as if brand-new, the wood steps leading up to the front door smooth and worn from the tread of hundreds of feet. Seated on the bottom step was a large woman with skin the color of burnt charcoal, her fingers working her sewing bone through the strands on a sweetgrass basket. She wasn’t looking at me, but I was sure it was she who’d called my name.

“Who are you?” I wanted to ask, but all I could do was watch her and her fingers and the grass as it was woven into the pattern of the basket.

Grasping the basket in one hand, she stood and began walking toward where I lay. She stopped for a moment, looking down on me, her shadow blocking the sun from my baking body like the angel of mercy. Slowly she knelt by the paramedic and leaned toward me. He didn’t seem to notice the woman as she bent close to my ear. Her words were clear, and I thought I could feel a cool breeze on my cheek from her breath as she spoke. “All shut-eye ain’t sleep; all good-bye ain’t gone.”

The pain struck me like a fist as I was pulled back toward earth, down into the body I’d inhabited for seventeen years, and gasped with one long, icy breath. I opened my eyes, meeting the blue eyes of the startled paramedic. I turned my head, searching for the woman, but she and the church were gone. Only the sound of a rusty gate and the lingering scent of the heat-scorched sweetgrass told me that she’d been there at all.

I heard my mother crying out my sister’s name over and over as I stared up at the clear blue sky, where a white egret circled slowly overhead. All shut-eye ain’t sleep; all good-bye ain’t gone. I didn’t know what she meant, but I reasoned I’d been given another lifetime to figure it out.

Almost fourteen years later, I was still trying.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 57 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    ?

    Two reviews and both plot spoilers, both revealing the entire book. If you want to talk about the entire contents, go to your blog site, but please stop revealing every detail on here. You ruin the book for readers who like to read a book and be surprised by what they read. You ate rude and inconsiderate. Please bn, put a stop to these plot spoilers.

    15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Eleanor Murray is a dutiful daughter and sister. After working a

    Eleanor Murray is a dutiful daughter and sister. After working all day, she comes home to cook and take care of her sister who has paralyzed.Eleanor carries the weight of her sister's accident on her back, because the accident was her fault. Not only was she to blame for her sister's fall, but Eleanor is also in love with her sister's husband. Her boss offers Eleanor a part-time job to be a companion to his elderly aunt on the island of Edisto. Edisto, is where Eleanor grew up and she very much so missed her childhood island. 




    Eleanor takes the job and comes head to head with Helena. Helena isn't happy with Eleanor, something about her reminds her of herself and her sister she just lost. Eleanor doesn't plan on going anywhere and her seemingly weak personality must find strength in dealing with Helena. As the two women spend time together, Eleanor begins to question the older woman's past. As Helena begins to bring Eleanor in, Eleanor begins to realize she has the power to decide what future she wishes to have. 




    I very much enjoyed THE TIME BETWEEN. Like Karen's other books, there is a bit of a mystery to the story. Helena is clearly hiding something big. I can't say the mystery in this book was as shocking or as large as some of Karen's other books. However, I would say this was an amazing book on character development. Both Eleanor and Helena have a past with their sisters, how they have dealt with their guilt is examined. Where guilt takes you and where it can leave you. 




    I really enjoyed watching how Eleanor seemed sort of mousy at first, but once in Edisto it was like she found her center again and began slowly allowing "Ellie" to come out again. The more time she spent with Helena and away from her family you really got to see her grow. I really felt White did a great job of making Eleanor's whole family broken. Even Helena is broken. When Eleanor comes to the house and the curtains are closed, it was like Eleanor couldn't live in the dark while in Edisto. 




    I don't want it to come across, as I didn't enjoy the mystery of Helena's past. I really did. I had expected it to turn out a little different. I liked that the mystery aspect of the story really enhanced the character development. When I finally learned the whole story of what Helena's was keeping I just sat there crying. It was so heartbreaking. 




    A wonderful story, with even better characters! I am definitely recommending THE TIME BETWEEN.

    5 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    One of her best! Great characters and beautiful writing.

    One of her best! Great characters and beautiful writing.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    Another great read

    I adore Karen White's novels and this is no exception! The characters come to life with each word, their stories captivating and heartwrenching. It took me less than 24 hoursnto read this book - not being able to stop once I started. I found myself experiencing the emotions the writer so talently portrayed. I highly recommend this book!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Hint to ?

    If the review is longer then a couple paragraphs Do Not Read! You can tell usually by the first two sentences because the reviewer is so very detailed! Just s Suggestion... ;)

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2013

    very good read a lot of twists and turns to keep interest

    I do recommend this book. Has a feel of mystery,history and love story. well written

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Definitely recommend

    Good story of sibling rivalry & forgiveness.

    First time I've read anything by Karen White. I enjoyed her writing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    Karen White is an author who always delivers a great book. I finished this is 3 days - I couldn't put it down. Her language is so vivid, you really feel like you are in the Lowcountry. I recommend all of her books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Karen White does it again- great read

    I loved this story. You could feel the love, pain, sadness and joy. Definitely a great summer read. Thank you Karen White- you always take me to another place in your wonderful books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2013

    Couldn't put it down

    Loved it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Awesome

    Loved the book awesome just a kick ass book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Great Read!

    I have not enjoyed any books from this Author but I will be following this one from here forward. This book had a great plot and story amazing ending!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    Another fabulous book from Karen White!

    I'm always confident that I will love Karen White's new releases and this book certainly didn't change that! Great story, great well developed characters! My only disappointment was that it ended!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2013

    If you've never read a Karen White book, you are missing out! Sh

    If you've never read a Karen White book, you are missing out! She blends a little mystery with a little romance 
    and creates a wonderful story!!  You will not be disappointed!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    I always know when a book has gripped me when I both laugh and c

    I always know when a book has gripped me when I both laugh and cry out loud. This book did both. I place every one of Karen White's upcoming books on my wish list as soon as I see it and have never been disappointed. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves a good story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ¿There is how we were before, and how we are now, and the time b

    “There is how we were before, and how we are now, and the time between is spent choosing which doors to open, and which to close.” Yes, this is the essence of two families’ stories, lives in which choices were made that have shadowed years upon years right up to today.  For Eleanor Murray it is her vivacious, adventurous personality that called her to issue a dare to her sister with life-changing, tragic results.  However, a larger choice is truly what has since affected the relationship between the two sisters, the choice to live riddled with guilt and shame rather than freedom and progress. Eve, Eleanor’s sister, marries Glen to whom Eleanor was once attracted and they are only now learning to live for the future.  
    At the same time it is Eleanor’s boss, Finn Beaufain, who hires her as a companion to his Aunt Helen and trusts her with his fragile, brave and wise young daughter.  They all soon get to know each other much more deeply, learning of dreams unrealized, of musical talent stymied by grief, of beautiful art holding past secrets with historical and personal significance defying words, of trust betrayed and lost or restored, and of love’s possibilities.
    Three sisters have beautiful voices in WWII Hungary.  Due to German occupation, they are forced to flee their beloved homeland.  How will they fare, when one has fallen in love with a German soldier and one a Jewish resistance fighter?  And why does the remaining sister hold such bitterness and self-loathing because of that past and how it led to her present dread.  What is it about Eleanor, Helen’s companion, that reminds her so much of the past?  What is it that recognizes a parallel story, one that she uses to push Eleanor into a future free of burdens? 
    An accident is just that, isn’t it?  A secret kept to protect a beloved sister is hidden for a noble purpose, isn’t it?  How important is it to forgive another person and one’s self as well? And even more precious is the question of how can a precious home on the beautiful island of Edisto, South Carolina be a tender, powerful healing factor in the lives of multiple people?  Will nature work its divine magic on those who have eyes to see, ears to hear and senses that need touching? Are these souls open just enough to allow the salve of nature’s beauty to mend ailing hearts and spirits?
    The Time Between: A Novel is a beautiful, poignant story that one doesn’t want to end.  Karen White’s deft manipulation of a complex plot is clearly matured in this story that is even better than her previous novels.  A story that is so painful is here crafted and presented with exquisite beauty and sensitivity that is a joy to read and experience.  This is a MUST read as it is indeed superb fiction!

    1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2014

    greatly recommended

    Karen White is a superb writer who mixes fiction and history. Her stories are spellbinding as she pens a moving story and describes beautiful scenery. This book is set in the Carolina low country and makes you feel as if you are there. Alternating from Edisto Island and Hungary during World War Two, she weaves a story as intricate as the sweetgrass baskets made by the Gullah women. This is a book you won't want to miss.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Recommend this novel

    I am a fan of author Karen White. The Time Between is a good read. The two main characters, both female but of different generations, are quite a pair!

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  • Posted February 15, 2014

    Fun and engaging

    I enjoyed the strong protagonist. She made me feel smart and confident. She embraces her mistakes and is willing to continue to take risks. I also liked that it tackled sexual abuse on men in a way that shed light but was not gruesome. My favorite character was the grandmother who accepted people for themselves; sometimes the acceptance gives them courage; sometimes it freedom.

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  • Posted February 7, 2014

    Recommended very interesting read

    Karin white did an excellent job of portraying Edisto....the story told was very interesting and opens the mind to an era of history that has just come to the forefront

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews

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