Isaac and Thea were once close, but they’ve grown apart.
Thea works tirelessly, convinced she can prove everyone around her wrong – convinced she can prove that time travel is possible. But when one of her attempts goes wrong, she finds herself picking up the phone and calling her old friend.
Isaac is in New York – it’s the middle of the night, but when he sees who’s calling him, he cannot ignore his phone. At Thea’s request, he travels home, determined to help her in her hour of need.
But neither of them are prepared for what they will discover when he gets there.
The Light Between Us is a relatively slender tale with a big premise – think Quantum Leap meets Sliding Doors and you’re on the right track.
University friends Isaac and Thea have grown apart, in no small part thanks to Thea’s single minded pursuit of her ground-breaking theory that will prove time travel is possible. But when Thea’s experiments get her kicked from her PHD and potentially leaves her friend Rosy stuck somewhere in time and space, it’s Isaac that Thea turns to for help. What follows next is a contemporary love story with a unique twist that encompasses time travel, quantum theory, parallel universes and long-held personal regrets, making for a page-turning emotional rollercoaster.
With it’s weighty premise, it would be easy for The Light Between Us to feel heavy but Katie Khan’s writing keeps the romance plot light and bouncy, whilst giving us enough accessible science theory to keep the time-travel elements on the right side of plausible. As a result, the plot whips along from the first page and carries the reader right through to the end without blinding them with the science.
Thea and Isaac make for empathetic and engaging leads. Practical and single-minded, Thea is far from being the perfect ‘heroine’, but there’s an appeal to her self-belief and determination, as well as a softer side that reveals itself in her conversations with her friends. Isaac is gentle and funny, but with enough spark to stop him becoming Thea’s doormat. Their romance, filled with missed opportunities and regrets for what might have been, is sure to tug at the heartstrings – especially once Khan reveals the twist that might scupper things for the pair.
If I had one criticism it is that I think the book ended a little too quickly. If, like me, you like everything tied up with a neat bow at the end of a book, then you might be left a tad frustrated here. There’s a number of plot strands that I felt would have benefited from greater development in the book, and some elements of the ending felt unresolved to me. Without giving spoilers, it’s difficult to go into details but I guess I’m trying to say that I very much enjoyed the journey I went on with this book but didn’t fully appreciate the destination.
That aside however, The Light Between Us remains an emotionally charged novel filled with moments that make you appreciate the preciousness of love and friendships, and the tiny decisions we make that can impact on how life plays out. Wearing its science lightly, it has that page-turning quality and emotional engagement that will appeal to readers of David Nicholl’s ‘One Day’ and Laura Barnett’s ‘The Versions of Us’, as well as anyone seeking to get lost in an enjoyable, relaxing and emotionally engaging read!
The Light Between Us by Katie Khan is published by Transworld and is available now from all good booksellers, including Hive, Waterstones and Amazon. My thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy of the book in return for an honest and unbiased review, and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in this tour.