The Psychology of Time Travel: A Novel

The Psychology of Time Travel: A Novel

by Kate Mascarenhas


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"A fascinating meditation on the many ways traveling through time can change a person." —HelloGiggles
"This genre-bending, time-bending debut will appeal to fans of Doctor Who , dystopian fiction, and life's great joy: friend groups."—Refinery29
"A fun and twisty read."

Perfect for fans of Naomi Alderman's The Power and Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures comes The Psychology of Time Travel , a mind-bending, time-travel debut.

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683319443
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication date: 02/12/2019
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 129,244
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Kate Mascarenhas is a half-Irish, half-Seychellois midlander. Since 2017, Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Before that she worked as a copywriter, a dollhouse maker, and a bookbinder. She lives with her husband in a small terraced house which she is slowly filling with Sindy dolls. This is her first novel.

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The Psychology of Time Travel: A Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
cloggiedownunder 8 months ago
The Psychology of Time Travel is the first novel by British psychologist, copywriter, bookbinder, doll’s house maker and author, Kate Mascarenhas. It’s 1967 and Barbara, Grace, Margaret and Lucille are pioneers, building a time machine. Successfully, because these are smart ladies with backgrounds in nuclear fission, cosmology, thermodynamics, and radio waves. But one of their number is adversely affected by their time travels, and is banished from further research. In mid-2017, psychologist Ruby Rebello is visiting her Grandma Barbara when an anonymous note, folded into an origami rabbit, arrives. The note announces an inquest, in February 2018, into the death of an elderly lady, identity unknown. Barbara immediately recognises it as a message from one of the pioneering time travel team, from whom she has been estranged for some five decades. Ruby has been warned not to mention her grandmother’s time travel, but now Barbara shares her story. In early 2018, University student Odette Sophola discovers a dead body in a locked room in the basement of a toy museum. It looks like murder, but the door was bolted from inside. Deeply affected by it all, she attends the inquest and is frustrated by the open finding. Despite some effective counselling, she can’t let it go, and is determined to solve this puzzling case. Mascarenhas easily evokes her settings and time periods, and her characters are believable: mostly appealing for all their faults and flaws, or suitably repugnant when required. Her world building is subtly achieved without any boring information dumps. A novel about time travel can be expected to jump around in time and, while there is potential for confusion, each chapter is clearly marked with the month and year, as well as the narrative perspective, so as long as the reader pays attention to this, uncertainty is minimal. As well as a time travel story, Mascarenhas gives the reader an excellent closed-room murder mystery. She also explores the spectrum of mental illnesses that may be exacerbated by time travel, and how these manifest (attitudes to death, in particular, are interesting), the plasticity of memory, the toxic effects of unopposed power, and the tacit approval of hazing that may exist in a large organisation. This is a fascinating and thought-provoking debut novel. Mascarenhas is an author to watch.
runnergirl83 5 months ago
This one caught my eye in a magazine. It's about women building a time machine, it just sounded like fun. In 1967 four women build a time machine. Something happens and one of them has a breakdown and is kicked off of the team after that. Fifty years later, Ruby is digging into her grandmother's past, the one who had the breakdown and hasn't been allowed to work on the project or to time travel since. The book jumps around, mainly between 1967 and present day. I was a little disappointed. Maybe because I went in thinking this was such a fun idea I was just going to just love this book. I didn't. I mean, it was still pretty good, it just wasn't great. The idea was interesting.
SecondRunReviews 6 months ago
I really enjoyed this unique time travel mystery. With a distinctly female focus, it was a compelling read. The only downside, I got a bit lost at the end and I'm not entirely certain who committed the crime.
sspea 7 months ago
This is a (real) tough one for me. Four women of science, the pioneers of time travel. Whats not to love, I really like back and forth chapters. Chapters that flip between characters or timelines. In this case the book goes back and forth between characters and timelines, so you need to pay attention to that. Among the four pioneers is Barbara, right away I felt almost protective of Barbara, (which is unexplainable because she is not a weak character. ) In the future timelines you will meet Barbaras granddaughter Ruby. I guess you could consider her the protagonist in this story. There is a clear mystery to be solved, and fighting crime is tough in a seemingly endless number of timelines. Right off the bat, I love the cover, it is what initially drew me to this book, and once you get into the book you see how the cover ties into the story. The book started out really strong, it grabbed me. I thought for sure this was going to be a 5 star book. It was fast moving, it kept my interest, I loved the characters, I cared about the characters ... and then, it was over. There was no big climax, no shocking twist. It was just done, I think because the book had such a strong beginning, I raised my expectations, started holding the book to a higher standard, maybe thats not fair, not all great books need a twist. but I felt it was just missing something. This book had the potential to be great... no amazing, I saw myself talking about it to my friends, I was already writing a glowing review in my head, at the risk of sounding dramatic, this book broke my heart. Had it been just "ok" throughout, this would not be such a tough review to write, but like I said, it started so strong, so I expected more. The fact that it fell short at the end is a real disappointment. I just wish there had been more, I wanted so much more from this book.
Laeljeanne 7 months ago
In 1965, time travel ignites Barbara’s manic depression, and the other pioneers—ambitious Margaret, compassionate Lillian, and social butterfly Grace—leave her behind to form The Conclave, an autonomous organization commercializing time travel. Multiple storylines converge to determine the identity of the woman found dead of four bullet wounds in a locked room. The investigation for this unique whodunit plays out in various timelines with characters’ ages often not corresponding chronologically. There’s manipulation, subterfuge, and espionage afoot throughout the nation and throughout time. The time travel details are concrete, with the fuel posing a danger if not handled appropriately. There’s even a time travel glossary included at the end, which makes one try that much harder to buy into the concept. Macarenhas gives the reader glimpses into the thoughts of characters, providing more depth to a story that might easily go astray with so much time-hopping chapters. Readers who like speculative fiction with compelling characters and complex relationships will appreciate this story that readily lends oneself to suspend belief, a realistic time travel story, if you will. It’s definitely worth the time! Ha! I was fortunate to receive a copy from the publisher through Net Galley. My review is scheduled to post on my blog October 15, when I will also share on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter, with review to be posted on B&N on launch date.
Ms-Hurst 7 months ago
I admit to not usually liking stories of time travel. There are too many holes to fill and it's not always done well. Something in the description of this book made me think it would be different. And it was. We start with four women in 1967 who invent time travel. We are introduced to Margaret, Lucille, Grace, and Barbara. After short time traveling trips and meeting themselves, the women decide to have an interview with the BBC. On television, Barbara, an expert on nuclear fission, has a mental breakdown. She is quickly ousted from the group. Flash forward to 2017 and we know that time travel is completely controlled by the original scientists through The Conclave and Barbara has lived a mostly anonymous life, left out of the history of time travel. Barbara has no contact with the others until one day she gets a mysterious message from Grace, a death that will occur. Who it is and how she will die are not included. Solving the mystery of this death is the focus of the rest of the book, though not what keeps you reading. We travel back and forth through time, mostly the lat 60s early 80s and the present, and observe people wrestling with the demands of time travel and what it does to those chosen to experience it. Sure, there are things you can definitely learn from the past and future (which, for reasons unknown, only goes 300 year into the future and, for reasons known, back to the first use of the time machine.) You are left asking so many questions: How would time travel affect memory? How would you react to events? How would you view yourself? How you view death? How much would you really want to know? How could you interact with non-time travelers? How do you trust your own actions without knowing what the people around you know that you don't know? So many others. Also of note is the prominence of women throughout the book. Most characters are female and most interaction is between women. This gives it a different point of view, seeing the characters through mostly female lenses. I'm going to be recommending this book to everyone who asks me for something good to read. Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for allowing me an advanced copy of this book. See more reviews at I'm Gonna Read at the End of the World-
PattySmith87 7 months ago
Many thanks to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books, and Kate Mascarenhas for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. In Kate Mascarenhas fantasy novel, four women join forces in 1967 to develop the technology of time travel. Mascarenhas has created an intricate world where time travel becomes its own industry. Her rules have been meticulously thought out and whether it is because of her scientific research, her understanding of the corporate world and her grasp of human nature to invent such a complex but completely believable world. I’ll let you in on some of the more unique details in this story, without divulging any spoilers that might ruin the mystery. You can’t travel further back in time then when the machine was invented. So smart, because it limits what would be endless possibilities and takes away the pesky issue of having to do a bunch of historical research. She has worked out a whole fuel plot point, that again makes perfect sense, even bringing in the idea of re-using fuel. In this world, you can not only meet yourself, but can have a number of different versions of yourself running around in any one timeline. How travelling through time can change you as a person, you ability to empathize and how it messes up your whole concept of death. You can know what happens in the future, but can never change events. The military, just as in real life, gets involved right away in the technology. Time travel becomes a huge industry, almost a world unto itself, where it has its own money and even its own justice system. I could go on and on. This attention to detail makes this world so believable and keeps your interest as a reader. You just want to keep discovering more about this world. Then on top of this we have the mystery. Barbara, one of the original four, has a reaction of sorts to time travelling. Unfortunately, this melt down happens on the day they announce their discovery to the press and Margaret feels she has embarrassed them. Margaret convinces the other girls to kick Barbara out and they cut off communication with her. Barbara never really recovers from being ostracized and after her hospitalization keeps trying to get back in the group. Eventually she marries and her daughter has a daughter, Ruby. Now it starts to get complicated. Let’s just leave it that there is a puzzle of a murder that happens in a locked room. Barbara makes a new discovery and thinks this is her chance to finally be able to time travel once more. Ruby gets a message that Barbara will die soon and she can’t forgive the group for being so cruel to her grandmother. All of these stories, moving together, have a way of working themselves to an exciting conclusion. For the most part, I really enjoyed this novel. Kate Mascarenhas imagination and attention to detail really are to be marvelled at. So much work went into creating such a complex story that is also heartfelt. You really are rooting for Barbara and Ruby. You can feel how twisted Margaret gets over the years. My only drawback is, with so many different moving parts and storylines, things did get bogged down for me and I started to lost interest in the middle parts. It was bound to happen. You are jumping from character to character and for a long time you don’t see the connection between them. You are also jumping from one decade to another to another. Nothing that would make me put the book down. Once I muddled through,
SheTreadsSoftly 8 months ago
The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas is recommended debut murder mystery with a plot device that involves time travel and some of its consequences. The first time machine is built in 1967 by a group of four women scientists: Margaret, Lucille, Grace, and Barbara. When they are ready to reveal of their fantastic invention, one of the group, Barbara, suffers a breakdown and is forced to leave the group. She is subsequently ostracized after Margaret convincingly orders Lucille and Grace to never have contact with Barbara ever again. Margaret, the leader of the group, becomes the head of the Conclave, the organization that oversees all time travel, and she rules it with arduous control. Fifty years, in 2018, later a young woman, Odette, opens the museum where she just started working and finds the murdered body of a woman in a locked room in the basement. The event traumatizes Odette and also compels her to find out who the person was since she had no id on her, and why/how her murder happened. She meets with a therapist, Ruby Rebelloto, help her with the trauma. Ruby is the granddaughter of Barbara, Granny Bee to her, the ostracized time travel pioneer. Their meeting seems connected and predestined because Ruby's Granny Bee had received a newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman (in 2017), and Ruby is obsessed with finding out if it was Granny Bee. The narrative is told from alternating perspectives and decades in short chapters. The short chapters mean that the point-of-view and time period changes frequently. There are a number of characters, and some of these characters are time travelers, so they appear from different time periods in different plot threads. It does concern itself with the psychology of time travel, but the essential core that holds the novel together is a murder mystery. It is easier and more compelling to follow the novel if you focus on the murder mystery and set the time travelers and their jargon aside as an interesting plot device. All of the characters would have benefited from better development and an increase in insight into their own personal psychology. Margaret is the antagonist. She is egotistical, cruel, and arrogant. She runs the Conclave with a model that stigmatizes anyone with any kind of mental illness and engages in cruel hazing techniques to desensitize and test the devotion of new recruits to the Conclave. Her choices in how the Conclave is run are having a negative impact on people and the institution. While there are interesting tidbits of insight into the effects time travel has on those who are members of the Conclave, there is also the increasing sense that all the time travelers are observers and information collectors with little concern over how they impact the past or future. They often visit themselves in the past or future, which is interesting but the effects of which are never explored beyond the surface details. The marriage of two people from two different time periods will surely bring several questions to mind for the reader. I actually finished The Psychology of Time Travel over a week ago and the characters and their situations fell quickly from my mind. For fans of sci-fi, this isn't really a great choice for a time travel novel. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Crooked Lane Books.
lee2staes 8 months ago
This is a great novel about an imaginary future. It’s a modern-day mystery novel. It was quite interesting. I didn’t want to put it down. It’s an intriguing mixture of science fiction, romance, mystery, and thriller. I loved this book. It is about four strong, independent ladies who designed and created an incredible time machine. After many tests performed on the machine one of the women, Barbara, seems to have gone unhinged and is put in a mental hospital. She openly disgraces the other women and is never allowed to return. The novel jumps to the future where Barbara, is now a grandmother. Her granddaughter Ruby is interested in her grandmother’s past. One day a warning note is received from the future. From there the book goes back and forth between characters and timelines. You really have to pay attention to keep up. I would like to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
Caroldaz 8 months ago
An original and good story but a bit hard to follow at times. It moves between dates and different perspectives with a large cast of characters so at times is a little confusing. Four women scientists, in the mid 60’s, develop a time travelling machine. They have tested it and travelled through time themselves. But one, Barbara, suffers a breakdown in public just as they are going to go public with their machine. The other three feel they have no alernative but to delete her from their invention so that they can maintain credibility. It was very interesting how the concept of time travel was developed.
lostinagoodbook 8 months ago
The title of this book tells you exactly what this book is about, the psychology of time travel. What does time travel do to a persons mind and personality? How would it affect a person’s perceptions and relationships? How would society be affected by time travel becoming as normal an occurrence as flight or space travel? The book jumps back and forth in time … as it should considering the subject matter, right? A woman has died in 2018. Who is she? That is the first part of the mystery of this story. She was one of four brilliant young women who invented the technology that makes time travel possible. They were also the backbone of what becomes a global organization that controls the use of that technology. This corporation exists outside of time, and away from any interference or regulation by any government. It has over time been molded into something cult-ish, controlling and corrupt. Employees are affected by this corporate culture to the extent that death becomes meaningless in their lives. Think about that for a moment, imagine if you can simply go back and forth in time to visit the people you love and have lost. Sounds wonderful, but the author has dealt with the isolation and solitary feelings that would happen when you become detached from a phenomenon that is at the core of the human experience, death. I found the book fascinating. It doesn’t get too deep, just enough to spur your imagination. I started out giving this book 3 stars, but I think I’m bumping it up to 4. I felt at first it was a little too predictable and that I had already figured out the mystery early on. But around 75% into the book I realized that the mystery was much more complex than I’d first imagined. What’s more, the mystery wasn’t the focus anyway. I enjoyed this book. I hope you do to. It’s worth a read. Song for this book: It’s Only Time – The Magnetic Fields Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley
MissyReadinginPA 8 months ago
This book was fantastic! I loved the characters and all of their drama and personalities. I felt that the plot was original and well thought out. There's no one, clear villain. There's several villains and by the end, you're not sure that the most despicable villain was dispatched. This was a really great book and I'm glad I was given the opportunity to check it out before it is published.