Book Review: TIMELESS by Alexandra Monir

I first encountered Timeless one Wednesday when I was doing my usual round of reading Waiting on Wednesday (WoW) posts by fellow bloggers. Timeless, then, was featured in two WoWs. I read the blrub and I immediately fell in love with it and marked it high on my TBR list.

first book in the Timeless series
by Alexandra Monir
Publication Date: January 11, 2001
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0385738382

Blurb from Goodreads:
When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance. 

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

Have you ever dreamed a dream, so vivid and so real that it seemed like were living a second life? Have you ever dreamed of a person so familiar that you feel that you have known that person your whole life? Only, you have never met that person.

Michele had those kinds of dreams and also visions whenever she was in a place so familiar and whenever she heard a certain melody. And these dreams and visions led her to certain key left to her by her dear, departed mother. This particular key opened one diary hidden inside a drawer in her mother's former room back at Michele's grandparents' mansion. This was how it all began...

As I traveled with her on her adventures, I slowly realized that it was not only to help her family find themselves but it was also for herself. To find it in herself, the courage and the faith and to take the lessons she learned and the love that she discovered as a bulwark - as steppingstones to move on with her life and begin anew. 

*sighs* And who could forget the romance - a romance misplaced by time? The relationship was beautifully written by Monir - very sensible, very true, and very romantic. Unlike those tragic stories about star-crossed - or in this case, time-crossed -  lovers, Michele and Philip chose the path that was practical and sensible. They were secure enough in the knowledge of their love that they were able to part in good faith and move on. Of course, it also helped that Philip promised Michele that he would find a way back to her (o_O who was that boy in the end with the ring Philip gave to her???).

To tell you the truth, Timeless had struck a chord in me. Like Michele, I had lost my mother not a year ago, but unlike Michele, I am not an orphan nor was I uprooted to another part of the country to be with strangers that was supposed to be my family. However, unlike Michele, I chose to forget and to lock away the pain and maintain a facade. I am not strong like her, yet, I was inspired. I read the way she faced the pain, her struggles to accept it and her strength. And although I am not yet healed and although I still have that yearning for my mother and for that other person, I will not be a coward and I will face everything.

With that I end this review (and this baring of my soul) with the words Michele's mother, Marion, said to her an hour or so before she died:

There is nothing in this life that can ever destroy you but yourself. Bad things happen to everyone, but when they do, you can’t just fall apart and die. You have to fight back. If you don’t, you’re the one who loses in the end. But if you do keep going and fight back, you win.


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