Time After Time

Time After Time

by Lisa Grunwald


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A magical love story, inspired by the legend of a woman who vanished from Grand Central Terminal, sweeps readers from the 1920s to World War II and beyond. “Readers who enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife will be enchanted.”—Publishers Weekly

“I utterly loved this clever, charming, hopeful tale of true love against all odds.”—Ariel Lawhon, New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia


On a clear December morning in 1937, at the famous gold clock in Grand Central Terminal, Joe Reynolds, a hardworking railroad man from Queens, meets a vibrant young woman who seems mysteriously out of place. Nora Lansing is a Manhattan socialite whose flapper clothing, pearl earrings, and talk of the Roaring Twenties don’t seem to match the bleak mood of Depression-era New York. Captivated by Nora from her first electric touch, Joe despairs when he tries to walk her home and she disappears. Finding her again—and again—will become the focus of his love and his life.

Nora, a fiercely independent aspiring artist, is shocked to find she’s somehow been trapped, her presence in the terminal governed by rules she cannot fathom. It isn’t until she meets Joe that she begins to understand the effect that time is having on her, and the possible connections to the workings of Grand Central and the solar phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge, when the sun rises or sets between the city’s skyscrapers, aligned perfectly with the streets below.

As thousands of visitors pass under the famous celestial blue ceiling each day, Joe and Nora create a life unlike any they could have imagined. With infinite love in a finite space, they take full advantage of the “Terminal City” within a city, dining at the Oyster Bar, visiting the Whispering Gallery, and making a home at the Biltmore Hotel. But when the construction of another landmark threatens their future, Nora and Joe are forced to test the limits of freedom and love.

Delving into Grand Central Terminal’s rich past, Lisa Grunwald crafts a masterful historical novel about a love affair that defies age, class, place, and even time.


“I’ll never again set foot in Grand Central Terminal without looking over my shoulder for Nora and Joe, or marveling at the station itself—a backdrop as intriguing as the love story that unfolds beneath its star-studded ceiling.”—Georgia Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of We Were the Lucky Ones

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812993431
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 23,425
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Lisa Grunwald is the author of the novels The Irresistible Henry House, Whatever Makes You Happy, New Year's Eve, The Theory of Everything, and Summer. Along with her husband, Reuters editor in chief Stephen J. Adler, she edited the anthologies The Marriage Book, Women's Letters, and Letters of the Century. Grunwald is a former contributing editor to Life and former features editor of Esquire. She lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt





She wasn’t carrying a suitcase, and she wasn’t wearing a coat. Those were the things that struck him when he saw her for the first time. It was just a bit after sunrise on a Sunday in early December. Joe was heading across the Main Concourse for Track 13, but there she was—­no bag, no coat—­standing by the west side of the great gold clock, peering into a window of the information booth. If she was traveling, then she was traveling light. If she was working at the terminal, then she was drunk, or she should have known better. No woman who worked at Grand Central would ever go near the guys in the booth at this hour, not at the end of a long night, when their shifts were finally over, and they were probably handing a bottle around.

Then one of them must have made a pass, because she stepped back quickly, and he could hear them barking and laughing as she turned to walk away. Joe saw how young she was, and how completely out of place she looked. Why was she here at dawn, and what was she doing without an escort? Still, she didn’t seem scared by the guys as much as frustrated, even angry. Her eyes were enormous and bright green, and her lips were the same kind of hard-­candy red as the stoplight on a signal lamp.

She stepped away from the stir she’d caused but stopped walking after just a few yards. A tramp standing on the marble staircase cupped a cigarette in his hand, flicked off the ash, and gave her the eye.

“Hey, princess,” he said. “Can you spare a grand?”

Joe hadn’t had his coffee yet, but he moved to her side in just a few steps. Her earrings might have been real pearls, and they dangled from glittering, flame-­shaped tops. But “princess”? Joe didn’t think so. Her pale-­blue dress was smudged and worn, and her shoes seemed old and scuffed.

“You look kind of lost,” he said to her.

Behind her, the tramp gave Joe the finger. Another guy whistled from inside the booth.

“I’m not lost,” the girl said. “It’s just that—­”


“Those men.”

“Did you need directions?” Joe asked.

“No,” she said. “No, I’ve been here before.”

“Well, what did you need those guys for, then?”

“I was only asking them what happened to the bank on the lower level. One of them said there’d been a little fire, and they all started laughing and saying things like ‘Fire down below.’ ”

She looked at the ground, then back at Joe. “Do you think they could be drunk?”

“Oh, they could definitely be drunk,” Joe said.

“How rude.”

“Want me to go chew them out?”

She smiled. “You’d do that?” she asked.

She tucked her hair behind her ears and lifted her chin just slightly. Joe realized she wasn’t just beautiful. There was something else about her, something vivid and exciting. She made him think of the cats in the tunnels far beneath the concourse: coiled up and waiting, all energy, no telling what they were going to do.

By now, the tramp had moved away, and the guys in the booth were leaving too—­disappearing one by one down the booth’s hidden corkscrew staircase.

“So, you know where you’re going?” Joe asked the girl.

“I know where I want to go,” she said.

“And where’s that?”

“Turtle Bay Gardens.”

That was the neighborhood near the East River, just blocks from the YMCA where Joe lived but miles beyond him in all other ways. Turtle Bay was a high-­class place with pale, private houses and rich, private people. That meant the pearls were real, Joe thought. But still this young woman seemed happy, even eager, to be talking to him.

Standing this close, he could smell her perfume: a blend of talcum and flowers and something sharper, like wood or whiskey. She was two or three inches shorter than he was. Her hair was a jumble of soft copper wires, and it fell at her neck in a cloud of curls. Her cheeks were smooth and pink, the same shade as the terminal’s Tennessee marble floors.

“So why do you need a bank at this hour?” Joe asked. “I thought they’d caught Ma Barker.”

She didn’t laugh at his joke. She reached into her dress pocket and pulled out a cushion of paper money. The bills weren’t green; they looked foreign. “This is all I’ve got,” she said. “I need to get it changed for American dollars.”

“There’s a branch a few blocks away,” Joe said. “But I don’t think it opens till nine. Where are you coming from, that you don’t have cash?”

“I do have cash. It’s just French cash.”

“Last I heard, they hadn’t laid any tracks under the Atlantic,” Joe said. “What train were you on, anyway? And why aren’t you wearing a coat?”

This time she laughed—­a wonderful, confident laugh, deeper than he would have thought possible for someone who looked so young. But she ignored all his questions.

“Anything else you’d like to know, mister?”

“Didn’t mean to be rude,” he said.

“You’re not!” she exclaimed. “You’re being so kind.”

He told her his name, and he asked for hers.

“Nora Lansing,” she said, extending her hand, as if he’d asked her to dance.

Joe shook it, but hastily let it go. “Your hand’s really hot. Do you feel all right?”

“I’m fine,” she said.

Carefully, he took her hand back, cupping it now in both of his, as if it were a butterfly. Its warmth seemed to spread from her hand into his, then traveled the length of his spine, like a current along the railroad tracks.

“Nice to meet you, Miss Lansing.”


Nora. It was an old-­fashioned name, and she did seem a little old-­fashioned. Her pale-­blue dress had a black collar, black cuffs, and swirly flat black buttons that looked like rolled-­up licorice wheels. What Joe knew about women’s clothing could fit inside an olive, but he knew the dress looked wrong somehow.

She leaned in closer to him.

“So, Joe, let me ask you this,” she said. “Is there any chance you could walk me home?”

“To Turtle Bay Gardens? What about the bank?”

“Well, I wouldn’t need to go there, see, if you could walk me home.”

Joe looked up at the gold clock and then back at Nora. “I wish I could,” he said. “Honestly. But I work here, and I’m late for a meeting, and right after that, I start my shift.”

The brightness in her eyes dimmed a bit. Joe realized, with some amazement, that he suddenly felt it was his obligation to bring the brightness back.

“What if I find a cop to walk you?” he asked.

“Oh, you’re so nice,” Nora said. “But I can do that myself. I should have done it in the first place.”

By now the Main Concourse was starting to bubble and steam with the morning rush: workers and travelers in seemingly random motion, except for the subtle dance steps that kept them from bumping into each other. No one stopped, unless it was at the clock, the ticket windows, or the blackboard where Bill Keogh stood on a ladder and wrote out the times and track numbers in lemon-­yellow chalk.

“Are you sure you’re all right?” Joe asked Nora.

“I’m sure.”

She circled her left wrist with her right hand. For just a moment, she looked confused, and he hesitated, reluctant to leave her. Then she said, resolutely: “Go ahead, Joe. You don’t want to be late.”

They walked off in opposite directions, and Joe checked the time as he hurried across the concourse. When he stopped to look back, he was half embarrassed, half thrilled, to see that Nora had done the same thing. Their eyes met the way their hands had: filled with heat and surprise. Finally, Joe turned to leave and, noting the time once more, he started to run.

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Time After Time: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
It's been a long time that I have felt so emotional after finishing a novel. Lisa Grunwald has created that kind of a book with Time After Time! I couldn't put it down and read it in only a matter of a couple of days. What I thought might be a silly story at first, had me completely spellbound. Oh, if these things could truly happen! After I finished the book, I could not explain the story to my husband without it getting caught in my throat and tearing up. I was riveted by this novel! And (no spoilers) it had the perfect ending, not to be told here. I'll be thinking of Joe and Nora every time I walk through Grand Central Staton for the rest of my life, wondering about all those nooks and crannies they lived their lives in. Where is the art studio? Does it exist? Thank you to first of all to Random House Publishing Group - Random House, for printing this amazing story. I do expect to see it on the New York Times Best Seller list once it's published, and secondly to NetGalley for the egalley of this book. It's one that I'm sure you'll have many requests to read. But all my thanks truly go to Lisa Grunwald for, as she says in her notes and acknowledgements, writing her story, and for writing it so succinctly and eloquently!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Jill-Elizabeth_dot_com 13 days ago
What a sweet and lovely lyrical story this was... I am captivated by time and stories about time anomalies, and this was a delightful find. It was whimsical and original and clever and I quite enjoyed it. I must admit that it felt like it could have used a slightly tighter edit - there are whole swaths of the story that describe the minutiae of Joe and Nora's lives that, while I understood for the color they were providing, found to pull me out of the otherwise excellent pacing of the story arc. On the whole though I really enjoyed this - it was touching and beautiful and magical without ever feeling heavy-handed. I recently read another novel about the history of Grand Central Terminal and found the level of detail in that regard to be spot-on and to paint a marvelous picture of a time and place that almost became a character itself, given the direction of the story. Very well done! Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy, which was provided with no expectations or requirements.
Mousiemom123 14 days ago
An enchanting story. The characters were wonderfully drawn and believable. A great summer read. I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Set in New York City at the end of the Great Depression and through World War II, Time After Time lovingly brings the time period, the people, and Grand Central Station to life. When Joe, a leverman at the historic terminal, first meets Nora, he has no idea how much the encounter will alter his life. Their repeated meetings - and separations - become the basis for a most unusual and magical love affair that is heartwarming and real. They build a life at the terminal and the majestic Biltmore Hotel, but Nora cannot share all of Joe's life. He has a father and a brother out in Queens, and when the brother joins the war following Pearl Harbor, it is up to Joe to watch over his brother's family. Joe is a staunch, kind, hardworking man inexplicably drawn to a woman who is charming and beautiful and gregarious. The concept is based on the annual sunset or sunrise, known as Manhattanhenge or the Manhattan solstice, when the sun aligns perfectly with the east–west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan, It was an interesting premise handled skillfully and with care by Grunwald. With a a release date of June 2019, this will be a perfect summer read for historical fiction and/or historical romance fans.
ALTaylor 20 days ago
The premise behind Lisa Grunwald’s ‘Time After Time’ sounded fascinating, and I was immediately drawn to it. Plus, that cover! Wow! The writing was beautifully done. The characters felt real and you wanted to cheer them on. However, for me, the story was slow. I wanted more action...more drama. This felt more like watching everyday life pass by in front of me. I also wanted a bit more “ghost” in my story - maybe even some Magical Realism. For me, it’s a 3.5 star read. For those who love a character-driven story mixed with well-researched historical fiction (set before, during, & after WWII), this book is for you.
Anonymous 20 days ago
I loved this book!
CynB 22 days ago
Time After Time, by Lisa Grunwald, is an unusual love story of two devoted people, committed to each other, and yet constrained by time and space from living the life they want. The story takes place primarily within the confines of New York’s Grand Central Terminal, and covers the decades spanning the Depression and World War II. This is a challenging novel to review without indulging in spoilers, which I refuse to do. I will say that this is not really a time travel book. It does remind me a bit of The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. If you enjoyed that book, this book may be perfect for you. I found the plot just a tad repetitious. All of the characters are likeable, but not as compelling as the setting. Seeing how the Grand Central Terminal changed through the decades was fascinating. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.
ShihTzuMama 23 days ago
Lisa Grunwald's Time After Time is an unusual story of a love which transcends time and death. The author has managed to capture the essence of New York’s Grand Central Station as it was in the late 1930’s as she spools out the story of Joe Reynolds, employed as a leverman at the station and Nora Lansing the woman he meets on the main concourse one fateful day in 1937. Joe soon learns that Nora died in a train accident in 1925 but returns each year during Manhattanhenge (yes, it’s a real thing that occurs during summer solstice every year…. Who knew). I will not go into the many aspects of the trials and tribulations of their supernatural love story or the equally interesting narrative concerning Joe’s brother Finn or the other peripheral characters lest it ruin the read for you. Just know that if you are intrigued by WWII stories, like to discover new and incredible historical facts about places, enjoy books involving time travel, the supernatural, romance, or are a fan of Richard Matheson’s SOMEWHERE IN TIME or WHAT DREAMS MAY COME- - this is very likely the book for you.
CRSK 25 days ago
3.5 Stars When Joe first sees Nora standing in Grand Central Station, she has no suitcase, or coat even though it was early in the December morning of 1937, barely dawn. She seemed completely out of place, and her clothing seemed from another time. He approaches her, offering assistance, information, whatever help she needs. He’s intrigued. When she tells him where she’s trying to go, Turtle Bay Gardens, he recognizes the neighborhood, as it’s only a few blocks away from the YMCA where he lives, as a significantly more posh area than his own humble dwellings. He offers to escort her home, and along the walk there, she vanishes. Joe is a leverman at this renowned terminal, and so when a year passes, and the solar event that occurs two mornings every year –where the rising sun lined up exactly with the east-west street grid of Manhattan – he is there to see her return. He’s more intrigued at first than smitten, but it isn’t long before he falls for Nora. Solving the dilemma of how to continue life this way is a matter of trying to avoid what has failed, and sticking to what they believe will keep Nora in the here and now (or then, as the case is), and with the Biltmore Hotel attached to the terminal, Nora can remain safely there, but there are family duties for Joe that pull him away periodically, and events that, ultimately, affect both of them. Since this is a book around a time-travel story, I wasn’t expecting everything to line up perfectly, but there were several things in this story that stood out to me and bothered me. Things that, for me, were somewhat blatant in not fitting in the era, and other things that were completely implausible, and not in a time-travel related way. For that reason this fell a bit short of ‘love’ for me, but I did enjoy this, overall. I just didn’t love it. The Winter Solstice event, Manhattanhenge, that used to occur in the morning hours and bathe Grand Central Station in its light on these fluctuating two mornings a year (weather permitting), is no longer visible in Grand Central Station. Progress - another building was built which blocks the sun’s rays from hitting the window from the east as it did before. And more’s the pity. The Summer Solstice event, Manhattanhenge, is still a significant draw for those looking for a more urban version of Stonehenge, and occurs as the sun sets over to the west. Of course other cities in other states and countries have similar times when the sun’s rays create magic, you just have to look for them. Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group / Random House
Anonymous 27 days ago
I was initially attracted to this book because of the time period in which it is set. I love a good WWII story. This book is a romance but it includes history, travel, and fantasy. I thought that maybe the story was going to be a little too far fetched for me but I found myself reading as long as I could at night and woke up wondering what would happen next.I have so many other questions about this story. Did Nora ever get sick? Did they want children? How did Joe explain her absence? It is a good story and now, I really want to visit Grand Central Station and take a tour!.I would give 3.5 stars
diane92345 3 months ago
Take one part Benjamin Button, one part Age of Adaline, and one part a history of Grand Central Station. Stir together and you have Time After Time. Joe is a leverman in 1937 in New York’s Grand Central Station. When he meets Nora, a confused young lady without either luggage or coat, he offers to walk her home. Along the way she vanishes. A year later, they meet again. She is still wearing the same tattered blue dress. Once Joe and Nora discover the restrictions of Nora’s universe, they begin to fall for each other. But Nora doesn’t age and Joe was already ten years older than her in 1937 making their future together uncertain. I liked the three main characters of this novel: Joe, Nora, and most of all Grand Central Station. The history of the Station drew me in even more than the plot. As a frequent reader of thrillers, Time After Time seemed to move at a snail’s pace in the middle third. However, that may just be me. I also didn’t enjoy the ending of Joe and Nora’s love story. For literary or historical fiction readers, the pacing will probably be fine. In the author’s Q&A at the end of the book, the author explains that most of the story is based on true stories merged together. If you are a fan of historical romance, this is a good choice. 3 stars! Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Lisa Grunwald has written a gem of a book with this one! It is an unconventional historical fiction romance that involves time travel and takes place within the magical setting of New York's Grand Central Station. The main character, Nora, dies in a fatal accident in the terminal in the 1920's and settles into a world at Grand Central that is somewhere between life and death. She meets Joe, a terminal worker, and they fall in love against all odds. Their relationship, as you can imagine, has many obstacles to overcome. This magical story spans several decades from the 1920's up until the late 1940's and I found that the story really pulled me in.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The cover and book description is what originally made me interested in this book. The storyline drew me in and kept me interested throughout the book. The love story between Joe and Nora is bittersweet, spanning over time. The ending was a disappointment to me, but I would still recommend this book.
RRatliff 3 months ago
I have to say I was excited by the potential of this book, but ultimately a little disappointed in the end. I had in mind something like maybe The Lake House. I was hoping Joe would have to work a little more at figuring out how to keep Nora in Joe's time, or that they would both have to work at it and the focus of the book would be getting them together in the end. Instead, after the first few chapters, they figure out the secret to Nora's coming and going fairly quickly, and she ends up staying in Joe's time for over a year at a stretch. The main focus of the book is more on how their relationship survives the onset of WWII, Nora's desire to have an independent life, and Joe's obligation to care for his brother's family during the war. The focus is more on their struggle to make this fantastical relationship work in the real world despite the challenges of not only Nora's "condition", for lack of a better word, but the fact that life keeps moving forward around them. I was much more interested in the fantastical part, Joe working to figure out Nora's conditions and the rules of her comings and goings, and then fighting to be with her. It was a little tedious in the middle once they were already together, and seemed more bogged down with war-time details and how life in general can get in the way of things. It was almost like just a typical relationship story but the author just used Nora's condition as a means to create difficulties for them. It was good, just not what I expected.
georgiana 3 months ago
Joe first meets Nora standing near the great gold clock in Grand Central Station in 1937. He's a lever man for the trains, and she's a refined young woman. Instantly smitten, this book tells the story of the unconventional romance of Joe and Nora. It shows the sacrifices made when life presents obstacles that may be impossible to overcome. The characters in this book are so well drawn, you'll want to invite them to dinner in the diner... and have everything but coffee. We love Joe's pragmatism, and Nora's artistic, get it done attitude. We love how character matters regardless of circumstance, for both of them. Grand Central itself, in its prime, is the only setting that really matters, and it is fascinating to learn the inner workings of such an important hub through the eyes of an insider. I finished the book a week ago, and already wish i could go back. I received this book from NetGalley as an advanced reader's copy
AnnieMNH 3 months ago
The fact that this book's setting is New York City's Grand Central Terminal certainly piqued my interest! Add in such wonderful historical facts dispersed throughout the story and it will appeal to any historical fiction fan. I was, however, unprepared to be so swept up in Joe and Nora's story! This was a book that I did not want to put down, nor did I want it to come to an end. Well done! Thank you to NetGalley, Random House, and Lisa Grunwald for the opportunity to read an advance reader copy of this novel. I'm looking forward to purchasing a hard cover copy for my personal library upon publication day.
JulieMT 3 months ago
If they gave out 1/2 stars this would be 4 1/2 stars! "Time After Time" is a thoroughly enjoyable and enchanting novel that is part historical fiction and part whimsy. It is a sweet story with a touch of heartbreak. The novel tells the story of Joe Reynolds, who works in Grand Central Station and Nora, a woman who tragically died in a train accident in Grand Central Station in the 1930s. Through a gift of nature, Nora appears on the anniversary of the accident only to disappear if she ventures beyond the field of energy that generates her appearance. On one such anniversary, Joe has a chance encounter with Nora. It doesn’t take him long to know he is in love. Yet loving a ghost is tricky and much of the novel tells of the attempts they make to protect their fragile time together. Their love is truly a test of time and of meaning. It's a fast read that I found myself devouring in a day! And yet there is enough food for thought that I also found myself pondering the book even after I had finished it. I thoroughly recommend it! I was honored to receive a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the Publisher, Random House Publishing Group - Random House in exchange for an honest review.
Kwpat 3 months ago
This was my first book by Lisa Grunwald. I usually do not like time travel stories, but this won’t works. The setting and time period (end of The Great Depression and World War II) is my favorite. I loved learning about life was affected in a normal family affected by the war. The author’s excellent research shows up as she paints a picture of Grand Central station. A wonderful love story develops between Nora and Joe. So many obstacles and sacrifices to overcome. Be sure to read about the author at the end. Thank you NetGalley and Random House for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
ReadingIsMyCardioBookClub 3 months ago
"Time After Time" tells the love story of Joe and Nora who meet during the Depression in Grand Central Station. She looks out of place and he, a leverman for the railroad, offers assistance in getting her back to her home in Turtle Bay. But as they walk toward her neighborhood, Nora vanishes, leaving Joe behind confused and smitten. A year later, Joe is walking to work when he spots Nora again, in the same spot wearing the same clothes. He eventually finds out that Nora is time traveling (I won't spoil why) and that when she leaves Grand Central Station, she disappears and can only return once a year during Manhattanhenge, when the sun rises in perfect alignment with the NYC street grid. The book follows the couple's story as they fall in love and attempt to find a way to live within the unique constraints of their relationship over the next decades. I loved all of the facts and descriptions of Grand Central Station that Lisa Grunwald included in "Time After Time"(if you feel the same, you should also check out "The Masterpiece" by Fiona Davis). What was lacking for me was character development, both of the two protagonists and the secondary characters who populate Joe's Grand Central Station life. I had a hard time seeing why Joe was so obsessed with Nora and why he was so willing to give up so much for her, and not being completely invested in their love story made the book less enjoyable. After reading the author's note about the story on which this was based, I wish it had been as colorful as the tale she tells there. I received this book from NetGalley and Random House in exchange for an honest review - all opinions are my own.
gypsygrandmatv 3 months ago
I really enjoyed this book. It's a charming, heart wrenching, unlikely love story about two people who never should have met and fallen in love. Nora had just come back to New York from Paris when she was a victim in a train crash in Grand Central Station. It's December 1925 and she died in the terminal that day. Joe is a leverman at the station and happens upon her one morning in 1937 as he gets off work, she has no coat on a December morning and clothes from a different time and he's instantly smitten with her...but she disappears when he trys to walk her home. They see each other occasionally over the years and Joe works to learn all he can about her and what happened to her. Their love is instantaneous as he trys to figure out how to keep her in his time. Not only is this a touching love story that spans two decades but I also enjoyed the little looks into the history of New York and the Grand Central Station. Thank you Netgalley from the opportunity to read an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
BringMyBooks 3 months ago
I was initially drawn in by the cover of this book (covers matter, y'all!!), and then the tagline snagged me for real: "A magical love story, inspired by the legend of a woman who vanished from Grand Central Terminal, sweeps readers from the 1920s to World War II and beyond, in the spirit of The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." I MEAN. HELLO. This book delivered on everything it promised and more - I was totally spellbound from almost the very first sentence and there wasn't a single chapter of this book that I wanted to end. If anything, I had to force myself to read slower because the details of the book were so beautiful when you really stopped to savor them. My absolute favorite thing, even more than the wonderful love story of Nora & Joe, was everything Grand Central. I love that the author was able to make the setting a character in it's own right, and I was fascinated at all of the information she was able to share about GCT without it ever feeling like an info dump of "Super Interesting Factoids About The Grand Central Terminal." The history of the terminal itself is so much more rich and nuanced than I knew - I did not know that you could reach the Biltmore Hotel from the terminal, nor did I know that there used to be a 242 seat theater that, for over 30 years (!), showed newsreels, short films, and cartoons. The information about Manhattanhenge, or the Manhattan Solstice, and how it briefly connected so beautifully and meaningfully to Grand Central Terminal's arched windows, was also so interesting - I wish I could have seen that aspect of the phenomenon! I had such an affection for both Joe and Nora, and their story was so great to read. For as complicated as their love was, they communicated well and often, and were open with one another about their worries, hopes, dreams, and wishes (which is always refreshing!). The magic and mystery surrounding Nora's sudden appearance was done SO WELL, I found myself going back and reading previous parts of the book to see if there were any small Easter Eggs that I had missed (and maybe just wanting the book to last a little longer). Also, it's important to note that Nora is probably one of my new favorite heroines: brash, feisty, loving, passionate, stubborn, fierce, independent, smart, and vulnerable. She was such a well drawn out character, and I was never ready to leave her POV. (Joe's pretty great, too.) I'm not sure exactly what you would call this book if you were to classify it - there's definitely bits of historical fiction in here, but there's also a bit of maybe, magical realism? or Science Fiction? or Fantasy? I could see arguments for any of these, but I think I would have to call it a Magical Realism Historical Fiction. Sure. That's what I'm going with. But however you define it, it's 100% worth the read. (Also, I think this would make an excellent book club pick - so much to unpack here! Especially the ending. Yowza.)
gatticus_finch 3 months ago
Time After Time swept me off my feet! This was a unique story that taught me so many incredible facts about Grand Central Terminal and Manhattanhenge. For those that don't know about the Manhattanhenge sunrise and sunset, this book does an excellent job of describing it in detail. Had I not read this title, I would have never known about this historical fact! The first few chapters are certainly a slow burn, yet I became quickly addicted to character's Nora and Joe, intrigued to know happened next in their story. I had a different idea about how time travel would be originally incorporated into this novel, however Grunwald caught me by surprise and definitely exceeded my expectations. While this a bittersweet love-story, both Nora and Joe tugged at my heartstrings numerous times and felt relatable in several ways. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction romance should definitely give this title a read!
JBHinTX715 3 months ago
Review of Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald Adler Do you believe in ghosts? If so and you prefer friendly ones, this is possibly just the book you are looking for. If not, please do not count out this interesting love story. For me, the jury is still out on ghosts. I hope there are ghosts, but I am for the most part relieved to have never encountered one. If my encounter could be like the one between Nora and Joe, bring it on! As I progressed through this historical novel, my questions/problems with the science and timing were answered enough to my liking so that the book was not ruined. Even more than the love story between Nora and Joe, though, I found that I enjoyed even more the historical background and information about Grand Central Station. I wish I had known the things I learned in this novel when a friend lived in NYC and I visited there several times a year. I would have thoroughly enjoyed investigating many of the lesser known “secrets” of Grand Central. This is an easy read for those of us who enjoy sci-fi and/or fantasy novels mixed with a sweet love angle. Even if you are not a sci-fi or fantasy fan but enjoy your love stories with a twist, you will like this one. Suspend reality for a few days and jump into Time After Time. I know that my next trip to NYC will include a day to get lost in the history of Grand Central Station. Thank you to Random House (via NetGalley) for the opportunity of reading and reviewing this interesting piece of historical fiction.
LawladyCase 3 months ago
Highly recommend this book. It explodes the repeating day writing form into a believable love story that develops the characters and focuses on the relationship rather the fact that something reoccurs. On December 5, 1938, Joe Reynolds see a beautiful woman on the floor of Grand Central Station. He rushes to the clock and helps her to stand. Something doesn’t feel right with Nora Lansing, but at first, he can’t place what it is. Once Joe realizes that Nora should have died in 1925, they work together to attempt to determine how and why she appears on December 5 some years but not others. During their time together, Joe and Nora fall in love and make the “Grand Central City” their own. Nora is only twenty-three, forever. She is an outspoken and strong woman even for the 1920s. The reader watches Nora mature while she stays the same biological age. She continues to seek out things that fulfill her. She does not allow her limited surroundings to crush her dreams or prevent her desires. Joe is pulled between the woman he loves and the family he has always been close to. Would they understand? Joe’s overwhelming feelings for Nora burst forth and he doesn’t let anything, even reality, to diminish his feelings. Take the opportunity to follow Joe and Nora as they fall in love, figure out how to maximize their time together and discover things about themselves they never knew. The descriptions and specificity of Grand Central station will make you believe that you are there. If you are like me, you will be planning a trip to New York to see Grand Central and look for Joe and Nora while you are there. I received an ARC Random House Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book.