the time between by Karen White has my favorite themes in literature. Love. Grief. And, ultimately, forgiveness.
The story takes place in Edisto, South Carolina, and is told from the point of view of three women: Eleanor, her sister Eve, and an old Hungarian woman named Helena.
When they were teenagers, Eleanor dared Eve to race in climbing a tree, hoping to impress Eve’s boyfriend, Glen. But Eve fell from the tree, became paralyzed, and the situation paralyzed their relationship as well by keeping Eleanor not only guilt-ridden but longing for Glen to be her own.
Eleanor accepts a job from her handsome employer, Finn, who has asked her to assist in the care of his Aunt Helena. She has become bedridden after the mysterious death of her sister, Bernadett.
As Eve builds her relationship with Helena, being every bit as stubborn and secretive as the older woman, they discover that they each have secrets to share. Sisters with which to find forgiveness. Lost relationships that are too late to do anything about that can now be laid down for future ones. Ones which promise hope and new beginnings.
This is a charming summer read, containing romance, sea water baskets, little girls and grown ones, but best of all quotes which stirred my heart.
“Have you ever known grieving that ends only when your own heart stops beating?” p. 43
“It was as if two souls lived within his skin, separate but not. But maybe everybody was like that, all of us living the lies we had to while dreaming of the lives we wanted.” p. 47
“Have you ever considered that the reason you remain infatuated is because it is safer for you? There is no risk in wanting something you can never have.” P. 232
“…adversity in life does not rob your heart of beauty. It simply teaches it a new song to sing.” p. 326
Karen White did a masterful job in reminding us of important life lessons while telling a touching story that spans the generations.