WHEN THE DAY COMES by Gabrielle Meyer
SERIES: Timeless #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance / Speculative
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: May 3, 2022
How will she choose, knowing all she must sacrifice?
Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she’s the same person at her core in both times, she’s leading two vastly different lives.
In Colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the Royal Governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives–and any hope of love–are put in jeopardy.
Libby’s life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about–women’s suffrage–is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe only complicates matters.
But Libby knows she’s not destined to live two lives forever. On her twenty-first birthday, she must choose one path and forfeit the other–but how can she choose when she has so much to lose in each life?
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“He had known the end from the beginning.”
Before I say anything else about When the Day Comes, I have to gush over Gabrielle Meyer’s worldbuilding skills when it comes to the time crossing concept. I absolutely loved this aspect of the book and the way it was presented and developed. Born a time crosser, like her 1774 mother before her, Libby lives two life paths simultaneously – one in 1774 Williamsburg at the cusp of the American Revolution and one in 1914 at the cusp of the Great War. The two paths are worlds apart, not just decades, in terms of family dynamics, class, and expectations, though Libby herself has the same personality & core beliefs in each one. I really loved Libby, as well as a few other characters I can’t say much about lest I spoil the adventure for you. When she turns 21, she will have to choose one path for good and cease to exist in the second one. The author does such a great job of layering both paths and keeping readers emotionally invested in each one, not to mention the history that unfolds for us through Libby’s perspective.
Additionally, and still related to my first point, Meyer sets up the time crossing parameters with plausibility and creativity, while also keeping this supernatural ability in line with Scriptural truths. It’s always a tricky thing when you mix a Biblical worldview with fantasy, magical realism, or science fiction, but the way this is presented is absolutely pitch perfect. The theme of God’s will, of His sovereignty – both in giving the gift and in directing it – and trusting Him is one of my favorite parts of When The Day Comes, and I love the opportunities for discussion that could be found in a buddy read or book club.
In fact, this is actually mirrored in my own reading experiences for it. You see, at one point in the story, things shift in the narrative from where I thought it was going and honestly I was ready to throw the book a time or ten. But because I trust the author, I knew that somehow when all was said and done I would be satisfied with the ending, even if it didn’t go how I wanted it to. And oh, y’all. If I hadn’t been worried about waking up my husband, I would have climbed out of bed and given this book & its author a standing ovation in the last couple of chapters. As we are reminded in this entertaining story “…in the end, God’s will always prevails,” and, “He had known the end from the beginning.” I don’t know if Gabrielle Meyer knew the end of Libby’s story as she began writing it, but whether she did or didn’t, the final result is simply breathtaking in every way.
Bottom Line: Oh my goodness. THIS. This book is why I love reading fiction. When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer is so unique, a masterpiece of plotting, worldbuilding, history, and romance – along with faith themes that wrestle with God’s sovereignty and our purpose. To say that I loved every bit of it still seems like the understatement of the century… or two centuries, as the case may be. Reading book two now and loving it just as much!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via the publisher. In the interest of full disclosure, the company for which I freelance as a blog/review tour coordinator was hired to promote this book with a social media tour in 2022. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 / in a class by itself
KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is a scene – and the recollection of another – that might be triggering to some who have been victims of assault. Neither the scene nor the recollection are detailed but it’s clear what has happened.
Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the upper Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people, places, and events. You can learn more about Gabrielle and her books at www.gabriellemeyer.com.
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