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The Time Between

The Time Between

4.1 64
by Karen White

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The New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street novels delivers a tale that spans 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


The New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street novels delivers a tale that spans 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....

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“From its mesmerizing first scene, The Time Between propels you into the sun-baked world of the South Carolina Lowcountry, and a childhood tragedy that haunts the lives of two unforgettable sisters in love with the same man. In clear and gorgeous prose, White spins a luminous tale of love and loss, of betrayal and redemption, and of a harrowing family secret buried in the upheaval of the Second World War. This is storytelling of the highest order: the kind of book that leaves you both deeply satisfied and aching for more. No one weaves together the present and the past with greater magic than Karen White.”—Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of Tiny Little Thing

“White...crafts characters who transcend their romantic roles through their frailties and weaknesses.”—Kirkus Reviews
“White moves smoothly between narrators as well as different time periods, crafting an intriguing and romantic family drama.”—Booklist
“White writes complex, heartbreaking novels with just enough pathos and plenty of redemption."—RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
“Set in South Carolina’s idyllic Lowcountry against the bittersweet notes of a piano in mourning and a prophecy spoken in Gullah, The Time Between weaves a story as intricate and sturdy as a sweetgrass basket, with the fresh, magnetic voices of its headstrong characters.”—ArtsATL
“The Time Between is a lyrically written, beautiful novel about atonement, love, and letting go. Engrossing and unforgettable.”—New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James

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.

Product Details

Gale Cengage Learning
Publication date:
Edition description:
Large Print Edition
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for New York Times Bestselling Author Karen White

“One of the best new writers on the scene today.”—The Huffington Post

“[Karen White] gives you everything you could want.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Kerrelyn Sparks

Sea Change is…riveting. Karen White [is] a master storyteller....She capitalizes on her strengths by using rich characters and poetic prose in a picturesque landscape.”—Fresh Fiction

“Readers will find White’s prose an uplifting experience as she is a truly gifted storyteller.”—Las Vegas Review-Journal

“White’s ability to write a book that keeps you hankering for more is her strong suit. The Beach Trees is a great book about the power of family and connection that you won’t soon forget.”—South Charlotte Weekly

“White…weaves together themes of Southern culture, the powerful bond of family, and the courage to rebuild in the face of destruction to create an incredibly moving story her dedicated fans are sure to embrace.”—Moultrie News (SC)

“A story as rich as a coastal summer…a great love story.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Deborah Smith

Meet the Author

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.

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The Time Between 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of her best! Great characters and beautiful writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
susiebAR More than 1 year ago
I do recommend this book. Has a feel of mystery,history and love story. well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story of sibling rivalry & forgiveness. First time I've read anything by Karen White. I enjoyed her writing.
JB55SC More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book awesome just a kick ass book
MMNV More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Annette5151 More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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... ;)
2017SpencerBooks 6 months ago
I highly recommend this novel. As a first time reader of Karen White, excluding her work "In the Forgotten Room," this story kept me engaged and wanting more. I'm officially a fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Karen White is becoming my favorite author!! This book is beautifully written with excellent character development. Much food for thought. A must read for anyone with a sister !
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I liked this book nice easy read, good story.
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susiesg More than 1 year ago
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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