Is it ever too late to get a second chance?
There were times while reading her tale that I grew frustrated with certain mannerisms and not terribly constructive ways of thinking that Beth slips into every time there is a crisis, yet the complexity of her personality always pulled me back into discovering what happens to her next. Beth’s flaws make her genuinely feel like a real person. She is by far my favourite character in this book.
I had trouble understanding the growing attraction between Jeff and Beth. He is such a brusque, private person that I wondered what Beth saw in him. This became even more true once he began attempting to exert more control over her life than is appropriate for two people who barely know one another. They share few interests, and their personalities are nearly polar opposites. It would have been helpful had there been a few more scenes highlighting what they do have in common so that I could better understand why Jeff and Beth were initially interested in one another.
The best scenes occur when something paranormal happens. Ms. Scarbrough’s choice to portray them as whimsical and mysterious instead of frightening was a great choice for the overall tone of this piece. Figuring out what might cause a ghost to laugh was what first drew me into this particular story, and I was quite satisfied with how the author slowly provides answers to all of my questions.
At first I was a little surprised by the flashbacks that occur later on the plot, but they quickly became scenes to anticipate. The events that take place decades before any of the characters in this novel were born are just as interesting as what happens to Beth and Jeff. While more than enough details were included to keep this reader engaged in both timelines, I would have enjoyed spending even more time with the people who lived in Beth’s mansion over a century ago.
Timeless is a good choice for anyone who loves ghost stories. I would especially recommend it for people in the mood for paranormal fiction who aren’t interested in anything scary.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.