Time and Regret

Time and Regret

by M. K. Tod


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503938403
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 08/16/2016
Pages: 353
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Time and Regret is M.K. Tod’s third novel. She began writing in 2005 while living as an expat in Hong Kong. What started as an interest in her grandparents’ lives turned into a full-time occupation writing historical fiction. Her novel Unravelled was awarded Indie Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society. In addition to writing historical novels, she blogs about reading and writing historical fiction on www.awriterofhistory.com, reviews books for the Historical Novel Society and the Washington Independent Review of Books, and has conducted three highly respected reader surveys. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and is the mother of two adult children.

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Time and Regret 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
The second book that I’ve read from M.K. Tod, I enjoy the detail (historic and not) with which she infuses her titles, making the past come alive and relevant to readers and characters alike. In this story, we are introduced to Grace, picking up (and packing up) after a divorce. During her de-clutter, she comes across a box of diaries belonging to her grandfather, all topped off with a letter to her, indicating a mystery. Dual timeline storytelling is a tricky balance, and with Grace still reeling from an unexpected divorce and the loss of her beloved grandfather, the favorite of her two parent-figures. She takes his letter and the diaries as a challenge, determined to follow his footsteps and attempt to solve the mystery all these years later. Tod’s writing lends itself to description, the ability to use diary entries to feed the visual impressions the words create show great skill. Showing Martin as human and conflicted in the midst of the trials of war: wondering at the losses while still moving forward to that nebulous line of ‘winning’. The slow unfurling of Cynthia’s story, as we see what shaped her attitudes and reactions, particularly regarding her own secrets and regrets. Lastly, Grace as she regains some of her own confidence and begins to understand the undercurrents that fed into her own personality, not the least of which is the grandparents (Martin and Cynthia) who raised her. A current (well – 1990’s) journey through the battlefields and museums, imbued with history, culture and even a bit of romance in the form of a museum curator, Grace’s travels and explorations as she follows the mystery left behind is glorious. Experiencing France for the first time, she shares those moments, giving readers that frisson of excitement and bone-deep pleasure that comes when one is open to experience it all. A near palpable sense of Grace is present throughout the story, bringing her into the room, sharing moments with her as if you are there. While the mystery in and of itself didn’t ring strongly for me, Martin’s purpose in sending Grace out, to learn and live in the moment, without regrets or what-if’s is a lesson that comes to everyone slowly but is all the sweeter for the realization. I received an Arc copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility
Laeljeanne 9 months ago
In a post-divorce cleansing, Grace Hansen finds a tackle box her grandpa asked her to keep. Inside she finds mementos from his WWI experience and a letter with a puzzle for her to solve for his redemption. She travels to France to walk through the same towns he did according to the diaries he kept during the war. Her life is in danger as she is stalked and burgled, deepening her grandpa’s mystery, fervently urging her toward resolution. Of course there is a French love interest, an unlikely but not impossible coincidence making the world smaller. Tod’s writing flows so well it seems the reader is walking with Grace through small French towns in her grandpa’s shoes. Fans of Tatiana de Rosnay and Diane Chamberlain, and lovers of history, art, and culture will appreciate this novel. Follow Tod’s forays into her own grandfather’s war experience on her blog https://awriterofhistory.com//.
Karen-M More than 1 year ago
This book is written in two POVs (point of view) and two different time periods. The story weaves it’s way back and forth between the period of 1915 to 1919, World War I, in which we meet Martin, a young Canadian who enlists and 1991 when Martin’s granddaughter, Grace, takes on the task her grandfather has set for her. Grace’s marriage is over and she is struggling to maintain a civil relationship with her ex-husband for the sake of their two sons. While clearing out the attic she comes across a tackle box her grandfather had asked her to keep for him. All these years later she opens the box and reads a cryptic message left for her by her grandfather along with an assortment of objects and his diaries that he kept during the war. This is the distraction Grace needs to forget about the mess her life was in. She wants to solve the mystery her grandfather has left for her and so she decides to travel to France and retrace her grandfather’s foot steps from his diaries as he lead his men against the Germans. She hopes to find a clue which will help her solve the puzzle but what she also finds is the horror of war and how it affected her grandfather. I found myself liking Grace and hoping she would find peace for her late grandfather as he seemed to live with the guilt of something he did and now he had set Grace on the trail of accomplishing what he had not been able to do. Very well researched book which was full of information about the fighting in France and how horrible it was for the young men who served. The story contained romance, mystery and sadness for all the destruction of not just entire villages but also the lives of those young men.
LauraFabiani More than 1 year ago
Time and Regret is a well-written touching story with a dual timeline. Grace Hansen's story takes place in 1991 New York. She is a successful woman who works in marketing for an insurance company and is the mother of two teenage sons and dealing with her recent divorce. She finds a tackle box belonging to her late grandfather in the attic that contains his WWI diaries and a puzzle left for her to solve. This propels her to trace his footsteps by going to all the different towns and places in France where he served. Time and Regret is also the story of Martin Devlin, Grace's grandfather, who in Feb 1915 enlisted in the war and goes from a young soldier to a grief-stricken hardened colonel after losing most of his friends and platoon on the field. Both stories alternate between chapters and are brought together toward the end as we come to realize that Martin has done something he regrets that he wants his granddaughter to rectify. I became so immersed in this novel that I read it in two days. I enjoyed both stories but initially found Martin's story somewhat difficult as I felt that I was dropped into the war scenes and strategies and did not have time to get to know the characters. But soon enough, I was racing through the chapters because I was invested and wanted to know how the two stories would merge. It is a testament to this author's writing skills that she could so easily transition from contemporary life in the sleepy towns of France to that of war-torn France in 1915. I thoroughly enjoyed traveling with Grace as she explored the war memorials in the towns where her grandfather experienced life in a totally different way. On the one hand we have a middle-aged woman at a pivotal point in her life who rediscovers herself and finds love again and on the other hand we have a young soldier living the hellish life month after month of sleeping in muddy trenches with the smell of rotting flesh and the constant sound of shells and gun fire directed at him. Both stories brought out a variety of emotions in me. The beauty of quiet life in small French towns and the horror of war and the psychological impact it had on the men who fought relentlessly. The mystery of the puzzle that Martin left for Grace added intrigue, adventure and danger. The romance was well done and added spice to Grace's story. I was so pleased to discover that M.K. Todd is a Canadian author. This is her third novel and I would now love to read her previous books. This book will be listed in my Best Reads of 2016 post. Highly recommended to lovers of historical fiction and women's fiction. Note: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
wordsandpeace More than 1 year ago
Powerful historical mystery. A unique triple level of narration helps reach a healthy balance between the emotional journey of the narrator and what her grandfather went through during WWI. Clever. Having already read two novels by M.K. Tod, Unravelled and Lies Told in Silence, I was eager to discover her latest work, especially as Time and Regret is not only a historical novel, but a historical mystery, which currently tends to become my favorite genre. And oh my, that fit the bill! The book opens in Spring 1991, with a first person narrative: Grace, mother of two teenagers, is grieving, as her husband asked for a divorce. As she is going through the attic to get rid of stuff, she stumbles upon an old box left by her dear grandfather Martin, who actually raised her. In the box is his diary dated from the time he served as a captain during World War I in France and mostly Belgium. There’s also a very strange note he left for her, entrusting her with a special and mysterious task. Grace has no clue what this is all about, she can only feel a lot of guilt from her grandfather in it. To try to understand what he went through these terrible years and what he meant her to do, she decides to revisit the places he was in as a soldier. A change of scenery can only be helpful for her own personal issues. That’s the first level of the story. But this unique historical mystery offers a very rich triple level of narration: besides Grace’s first person narrative in the 1990s, the chapters also offer passages in the present tense and first coming directly from Martin’s diary, starting in February 1915, when he enlisted. This second level is enhanced by another narration about Martin’s experience at war, this time in the third person narrative. I think this is the first time I read a book containing a first person and a third person narrative, PLUS excerpts from a diary. And this worked beautifully, creating so much dynamism to the whole story. It also helped delve deeper into what Grace is experiencing emotionally, as well as what her grandfather went through in his own time, facing a war that he felt useless and unnecessary violent. And in which misinformation led to regretful disasters. As the months go by, Captain Martin starts losing his men, and his friends, one after the other. And then, her sister comes as a nurse to work with the Red Cross… The mystery gets more intriguing when Grace arrives in France. She has the feeling someone is following her. But who, and why? Has this anything to do with her divorce or with the mysterious mission her grandfather left her? Will Grace manage to fulfill her mission before this unknown enemy gets to her? The book is also a travelogue, as Grace discovers the main scenes of the war in Northern France and Belgium, places of sad repute, such as Ypres, Bailleul, la Somme, Vimy, to name just a few (places the author’s relative himself went to fight). Grace gets help from a museum curator, whose grandfather also fought in WWI. You can’t have a travelog in France and Belgium without including restaurants and amazing meals. The delicious descriptions were a nice reprieve, helping to reach a healthy and bearable balance with the atrocities and grief of war, both for Grace and the readers. Originally planned to understand better what her grandfather went through and how to solve the puzzle he left her, the trip actually leads Grace to self-discovery, in a real deep way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When Grace Hanson’s life abruptly changes, leaving her devastated and unsure how to cope, she soon embarks on an unexpected journey to follow the clues left behind by her grandfather and discovers not only a new mindset and appreciation for her family and fallen soldiers but also finds herself along the way. With her grandfather’s war diaries and her puzzle solving mind, Grace uncovers a lot more than she bargained for and even gets into a little trouble. I really enjoyed Time and Regret. The title fits really well with the themes of the story with all the time between the events with Martin’s war accounts and Grace’s modern day dilemmas. Grace learns to focus not only on her own regrets but also realizes that both her grandfather and grandmother had plenty of their own, too. It was interesting to read as Grace broadened her worldview. The look into a soldier’s life and the great mystery left behind by Grace’s grandfather was interesting. I thought the clues were clever and even though figuring out what exactly Grace was looking for took some time, it made for quick reading just to have the curiosity satisfied of how she would solve the puzzle and fulfill the nearly lifelong task left unfinished by Martin. I’m thoroughly satisfied with how everything beautifully wrapped up. It’s a little sad to end this journey with Grace, but I’m happy for her and optimistic that she gets to change her life for the better based on her own direction in life. A must read.
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of M.K.'s and could not wait to read another book by her. Her writing style is nice and easy to read. I liked the mystery of Grace finding the box and then having to figure out the puzzle left to her in the letter. There is plenty of mystery and adventure then you can add a little romance to the story and it makes for a perfect combination for a fun book. Another thing I liked about the book was how it went back and forth between the 1990s and WWI. The diary entries were fun to read and a good way to see what her grandfater went through. Cythina was one of those characters that you do not like but in the end you come around to liking. I think that shows that the author did a good job in their writing when this happens. I could tell that the author did her research through the descriptions she gave. All in all a good book and I am looking forward to the next one by her.
girlwithcamera More than 1 year ago
History, mystery and romance are intertwined in this novel about World War I and the art world. Grace unexpectedly finds her grandfather’s diaries written during the first world war along with clues she understands that were written only for her. Intrigued, she flies to France to follow her grandfather’s footsteps as he moved from town to town in the trenches to prevent the advance of the German army. What she didn’t bargain for was having someone else follow her, intent on discovering the same secret. With the aid of a charming Frenchman and art curator, she travels across France to find the clues her grandfather has left her. I really enjoyed Time and Regret. It is a work of fiction but the historical aspect of the book was also quite interesting. The timeline alternated between 1991 (Grace) and (1917-1919) Martin and was easy to follow.
alyslinn More than 1 year ago
After a somewhat slow start, Time and Regret quickly became intriguing. Martin's diaries gave way to sections set during the Great War, and I was fascinated. His words weren't the lengthy sort of diary one usually gets in books like this, but brief, blunt observations that set the stage. Then, to have Grace trying to find clues… I couldn't stop reading. Things built, and the ending wasn't quite what I expected it to be. In a good way. I especially appreciated that Grace was not a 20-something year old, but a woman of an older age, with more experience, and having gone through a divorce. She was a more interesting character for it, and her friendship and relationship with Pierre felt very natural, and not overdone. It was also refreshing to have a novel partly set in 1991. It's two historical periods in one novel, and it took me a few minutes to reset my brain to 'not present time' when reading about the more modern era. I had to remind myself that 1991 was pre-cellphone, internet, etc. (I am more than old enough to remember it, but still...) And finally, the art world connection was a real treat. Museums and (*mumble mumble spoilers*). Definitely a book to pick up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Review ‘Time and Regret’ is the story of Grace, a newly divorced career women and mother, struggling to regain her identity. Grace finds an old tackle box of her grandfather’s while cleaning out her attic. Inside is a cryptic note, a journal, and several war souvenirs. Grace decides to retrace her grandfather’s war travels through Europe. The story alternates between Grace’s first person view in the early 1990’s , Martin’s third person view during WWI, and sections of Martin’s war journal. I find this style of writing, in historical fiction, works very well. It allows the reader to understand not only Martin’s point of view and feelings but also how his granddaughter, Grace, reacted to the events Martin experienced during the war. The character’s of both Martin and Grace were well-developed and realistic. This is demonstrated by the fact that even though her grandparents raised her, Grace knew very little of Martin’s war experience. I have found this is often true of many war veterans. They tell their families little to nothing about their war experiences. ‘Time and Regret’ is also somewhat of a mystery. As Grace is pursued by an unknown stranger. Grace also attempts, throughout the story, to decipher her grandfather’s cryptic note. I really loved this novel. I think we as a society have largely forgotten how brutal, gory,and dirty WWI was. Tod presents amazing detail of the day-to-day lives of the soldiers. Historical Fiction can often be on the dry side but Tod wove the story in such a way that I was swept along with the story. ‘Time and Regret’ is a must read for anyone looking for an accurate portrayal of WWI, with a twist.