Kit De Waal’s THE TRICK TO TIME is an exploration of life, love and loyalty. We meet Mona, an older woman who runs a doll shop in a coastal town in the UK. She is dedicated to her work, showing love, care and attention to the dolls, helping others through her work. However, we learn that part of this springs from a tragic incident that happened when she was young and newly arrived in Birmingham from her native London. The trick of time for Mona is how fast and slow is passes, how her life has been concertinaed by tragedy, so much so that she doesn’t know where her life has gone.
De Waal has written a gorgeous character in Mona, complex and also incredibly likeable. I found her unrelenting loyalty in the face of tragedy endearing but I also wanted her to break free, cheering her on from the sidelines. This made me feel confused about the ending, struggling with myself as to whether it was the conclusion I wanted or the one that Mona deserved.
THE TRICK TO TIME is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read, where our outlooks on time, reminiscing, living in the moment and day-dreaming about the future all swirl together into that beautiful and yet cruel whirligig of time. It is a novel that causes you to value what is important in life, as we just don’t realise how fragile the present is.
Thank you to the author and publisher for this free copy in exchange for a review.