In Another Time
By: Caroline Leech
Publication: August 28th 2018 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)
*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.
Goodreads description--Love is worth the fight
It’s 1942, and Maisie McCall is in the Scottish Highlands doing her bit for the war effort as a Women’s Timber Corps lumberjill. Maisie relishes her newfound independence and her growing friendships—especially with the enigmatic John Lindsay.
As Maisie and John work side-by-side felling trees, Maisie can’t help but feel like their friendship has the spark of something more to it. And yet every time she gets close to him, John pulls away. It’s not until Maisie rescues John from a terrible logging accident that he begins to open up to her about the truth of his past, and the pain he’s been hiding.
Suddenly everything is more complicated than Maisie expected. And as she helps John untangle his shattered history, she must decide if she’s willing to risk her heart to help heal his. But in a world devastated by war, love might be the only thing left that can begin to heal what’s broken.
I picked up In Another Time kind of on a whim. I find that I enjoy specific periods of time for historical fiction and this setting isn't always one I prefer. However, Holly read and liked a previous book by this author and so that was a plus for this book. But the biggest thing that drew me in was the description. I've never even heard of the Women's Timber Corps so this story had an utterly unique draw.
In a time when feminism is being pushed and women's equality is being fought for, a story about lumberjills chopping down trees by hand (or by ax rather) during World War II stands out. There's no much that screams of women's ability quite like chopping down trees. Of course, women didn't quite have the same liberties as men during this time period, but that's one of the better qualities of the book. I enjoyed how true to the time period this was. The story wasn't stretched to fit today's ideals and even when the women were doing things beyond what might have been considered normal at the time none of the characters were overt feminist by today's standards.
Maisie was easily likeable where I sometimes find that I struggle with the female lead. She was a little hard around the edges when it came to her dealings with her family, but I liked that she grew in this area over the course of the book. She didn't just seem easily likeable to me as the reader, but also seemed to be able to get along with most of the characters in the book. Considering this story was largely inspired by the stories of one particular lumberjill that Caroline Leech was able to talk with, I can imagine that the camaraderie Maisie experienced was largely based off of this lumberjill's memories.
I also appreciated the realistic portrayal of PTSD in John. PTSD wasn't really known about during this time period so I liked that Caroline Leech showed it without making it current. It was clear John had issues he needed to deal with before moving into a relationship with Maisie but I'm glad the two weren't too self aware as I don't think much stock was put into mental and emotional health back then. I'm having a hard time saying that I'm glad Maisie went about things in a healthy way without making it too much about mental health that I don't think would match with the time period. John's mental state sounds very similar to stories of my own grandfather's demeanor after WWII.
I read In Another Time as quickly as I could given my limited time to read. I do think my starts and stops lessened my enthusiasm and enjoyment just a little. This is by no means a fault of the book but just the nature of my current life circumstances.
Overall, I really enjoyed the empowering women featured in this book without Caroline Leech making this Feminism-101. I appreciated the realistic portrayal of the culture as well as the mental and emotional struggles of many of the characters specific to this time period also without making these too modern day Mental Health-101. I can't say that I was over the hills with John and Maisie's love story, but I did enjoy it. I did want to keep reading; however, my current life of a mom of a 2 year old and 3 month old* didn't allow me to read whenever I wanted. Having to put the book down so frequently did influence my overall feelings toward In Another Time even though that's probably not fair of me. That being said, In Another Time gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read In Another Time? What did you think? Let me know!
*This review was written in February 2018, but not published until closer to the book's publication date.