May 28th, 2021 by Jane Turner
This review of The Other Times of Caroline Tangent comes courtesy of a Blog Tour organised by Storytellers on Tour. The Other Times of Caroline Tangent is self-published and was released on 17 May 2021. I received a free copy of the paperback.
If you could travel back in time to see any concert, who would you go to see?
Caroline Tangent’s husband, Jon has invented a time machine so they can visit iconic gigs in history: Woodstock, David Bowie, Edith Piaf in 1930’s Paris – an inexhaustible bucket-list. But they can’t tell anyone they’re doing so; Caroline’s life as an artist in North London goes on with her friends and family, and their concerts remain a secret.
As their trips to the past continue, they begin to realise how Jon’s invention could change a devastating moment from their own past. And for Caroline, it’s clear that she and Jon don’t want the same outcome.
Until, on a trip to 1978, one of them does something unthinkable which will change both their lives forever.
A great premise, involving and engaging storyline, and a killer of an ending – this one delivers on all fronts. I raced through it in a day.
I can only imagine the joy of going to see iconic gigs, but Mr Wainewright captures the feeling incredibly well. (Almost like he was there! 😉) And, as someone who dreams for a time machine or teleporter every day of my life… *sigh*
Caroline Tangent is the kind of person I’d be friends with – I can tell. She’s a bit of a problem solver, has a couple of very close friends, and a moody-bugger of a husband. But that moody-bugger also happens to be a genius with a passion for music… Yep, I’ve been there too (the musical passion, not the genius). She’s an artist, and just realising commercial success…
Jon, meanwhile, is the quintessential moody-bugger-genius who builds a time machine in the basement of their Crouch End house. Jon loves his record collection, his cat, and Caroline (and, yes, it seems to be in that order). He goes cold to hot in a flash, holds grudges, and generally rules the roost. He’s a little scary, in all truth. Incredibly strong willed and bordering on violent. He’s definitely not an ideal.
The creation of the time machine is a chance to live pre-married life again – when they were gigging regularly, celebrating and revelling in live music, before adulthood, jobs, kids, and life settle things. And they go to some brilliant gigs! (There’s a list in the back of all the gigs they attend as time travellers.)
But it’s also a chance, for Jon at least, to rebuild his life the way he wants – damn anyone who doesn’t agree. Which, inevitably, leads to totally unjustifiable actions…
Mr Wainewright has produced something wonderful here. The characterisations are excellent. Caroline, Jon, their friends and children, are all whole people; all with foibles and dramas, idiosyncrasies and eccentricities. They are proper people, indeed. The story hums along with it’s own innate soundtrack.
I wish, though, we saw Roger more, saw more of that relationship – that bit seemed truncated. Honestly, though, that’s my only issue with this.
I picked up The Other Times of Caroline Tangent because I love music and live music. What I got was so much more.
Thanks Mr Wainewright. Please, keep writing!
Ivan lives in Kent (England) with his partner, Sarah and their neurotic rescue Staffie, Remi. Before moving to Kent, Ivan lived in North London, Leeds and Singapore.
When not writing, he can be found watching (and occasionally) playing football, running, attending gigs (when that’s possible), arguing over politics and trying to cook.
He has been an independent IT consultant for many years, working solely with charities and non-profit organisations.
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