Title: When the Day Comes
Author: Gabrielle Meyer
Series: Timeless, book 1
Major Themes: Historical, New York City, Williamsburg
Synopsis: Libby has been given a unique gift: To live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and another in 1914 Gilded Age New York City at the same time—but on the night of her 21st birthday, she’ll have to forfeit one life or the other forever.
Around a month ago, I was going through a list of potential books I could get for review, and I saw the cover of When the Day Comes. It was unique and beautiful, so I clicked through to the synopsis. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped (mentally, anyway) when I saw the description. I’ve loved fantasy since I was a child, and though this is more in the realm of historical fiction, the fantastical element of one person living two lives simultaneously in different centuries was more than intriguing. I got the book—and opened it as soon as I possibly could!
Libby has been living a unique life since the day she was born, but few know her true story. Twenty years before the book opens, she was not only born into a poor printer’s family in Colonial Williamsburg; she was also born into an aristocratic family in New York City. When she falls asleep at night in one life, she wakes up in the other life. Though she’s the same person at her core, she leads two very distinct lives. In Colonial Williamsburg, her father has just died, and she and her mother are fighting to keep their print shop running and provide for her two younger sisters. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, is deeply involved in the Patriot cause. Together, they must do their bit for their country. Meanwhile, in New York City, her mother is determined to secure a place for herself in the upper echelons of society. Her best way there, she’s decided, is to force Libby to marry the Marquess of Cumberland. But Libby hates all the society advances her mother longs for—she’d much rather be working for the women’s suffrage movement or some other more worthy cause. What is she to do? When her twenty-first birthday arrives, how will she decide which life to keep—and which to forever forfeit?
It’s hard to describe my emotions when I finished reading When the Day Comes. I felt like squealing, because it was so well written and had such a good ending. I felt like turning back to page one and reading it all over again (and I’m still highly tempted to do that). I felt like dancing and hugging the characters, but also had an intense disappointment that they aren’t real. The one thing I did do was pull out my phone and scour the author’s website and Amazon for any information I could find about the second book in the series. Much to my disappointment, I couldn’t find anything (looking for said information a month before the first book releases isn’t at all premature, is it?!). Suffice to say, I can’t wait—and the sooner book #2 comes out, the better, in my opinion. 😉
There was so much to love in here. The history was well-researched, and I was pulled into both times far more than I expected to be. I couldn’t wait to get back to Williamsburg when I was reading about New York City, and when I was in Williamsburg, I worried about what was going on in New York. Meyer made me care about Libby and her lives far more than I thought I would, and watching her struggle to make good decisions—and try to figure out what God wanted from her—was both a blessing and a challenge. Although this book does involve time crossing, I agree with the author that it fits the historical fiction genre better. I feel like I’ve lived in the places the characters lived in, and that isn’t something I can say about many books I read.
As far as the way the character transitioned between her two lives, I didn’t find that to be as big of a deal as I thought it might be. Initially, I was reminded of K.M. Weiland’s Dreamlander when I was getting into the story, but this is a much more pleasant read than that one. Even those who typically don’t enjoy fantasy would likely enjoy When the Day Comes—as long as you like well-written history and a dash of romance, you’ll be fine. I found it fascinating to consider some of the potential problems and limitations with the way the “magic system” in this book was set up (for lack of a better term; there is no magic involved), and also found it interesting to see how the author worked with that. So yes, Mom, even though you don’t like fantasy, you’ll enjoy this book. 🙂
I was given a review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: Suffragettes are mentioned a few times. A man is drunk several times. Marital rape is alluded to in ch. 13 and 18, but never described. There are a couple of unwanted kisses in ch. 18. Characters reference the rape in ch. 19 and 22, but only in the vaguest terms. Pregnancy is mentioned several times, and in ch. 22, a woman suggests taking herbs for an abortion (not those words, but with that intent). A woman is in labor in ch. 27, and another labor is mentioned in the epilogue. Unmarried characters touch in ch. 3, 7 (more description than some), 9, 13, and 19 (also some kissing, described to some extent). There is more kissing in ch. 21, 23, 25, and 30. Swear is used in ch. 22. There is lying in ch. 25.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults