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Running Behind Time

by Jan Turk Petrie

Relationship Stories Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Running Behind Time

WOW! What a fabulous and enjoyable read - read it in one sitting as needed to know what happened next. A tale of time travel from 2020 to 1982 - and back again. Following the story of Tom when he meets Beth - such detail in lives during the pandemic of 2020 and lives in 1982. Don't want to give too much of the story away - can't recommended it highly enough. I have just ordered one of her other books I am so impressed. 

Jayne Burton, A LoveReading Ambassador 

LoveReading Ambassador

Running Behind Time Synopsis

There’s a wrinkle in time on the 15:15 train from Paddington to Cheltenham Spa.

It’s the Summer of 1982, and Beth Sawyer is thrilled to have landed the title role in a play. It may only be in a fringe theatre in Shepherd’s Bush, but it’s the start she’s always dreamed of.

It’s the Summer of 2020, amid the global pandemic, and Tom Brookes is furloughed. Unable to face lockdown in a tiny city flat, he moves back to his mother’s cottage in the sleepy Cotswold village of Stoatsfield-under-Ridge.

Neither of them expects an everyday train journey to throw their normal lives so spectacularly off-course.

This is the story of an extraordinary encounter between two people who should never have met. 164 pages

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781912855933
Publication date: 1st March 2021
Author: Jan Turk Petrie
Publisher: Pintail Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 330 pages
Primary Genre Indie Books We Love
Other Genres:

Running Behind Time Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

This book cleverly illustrates just how much society has changed in 40 years and I hope the author will provide us with a sequel before too long, as there are many intriguing loose ends that need to be tidied up. I personally cannot wait!

'Running Behind Time' is Jan Turk Petrie's 7th novel, in which she has again ventured into unknown genre territory for her. The reader need not worry, however, as the author handles this subject matter with the same ease, aplomb and ingenuity as she did her previous works.

Simply put, this is the story of the love between Tom and Beth but that is only the start of it. Tom, furloughed during the Covid pandemic, decides to form a bubble with his mother, who lives alone in a pretty but sleepy Cotswold village. Soon tiring of the slow pace of life there, he arranges to go to London to meet a friend, who may have some work to put his way. It is on the train journey there that Tom's life changes forever and many questions he's never wanted to address suddenly become of paramount importance. Just outside Reading, the train passes through a time portal whilst Tom is using the toilet and, when he returns to the carriage, he finds himself in a different era altogether. The panic he feels seeing people acting pre-pandemically is palpable, thanks to the author's expert writing skills. Figuring the way back to 2020 from what he judges to be the early 80s is to re-board the same train when it makes it's return journey but he hadn't counted on arriving back in Gloucestershire with Beth, who grabs hold of his arm as the train is plunged into darkness when it re-enters the portal.

The story then takes us on a roller coaster of emotions, from hilarity, as Tom tries to explain face masks and 4G, to suspense, as it seems their adventure has not gone unnoticed by the powers that be and Tom's mother obviously knows more than she's letting on. Almost everything is eventually revealed but the reader must wait virtually to the end of the book and then the reveal will almost certainly not be at all what was expected.

This book cleverly illustrates just how much society has changed in 40 years and I hope the author will provide us with a sequel before too long, as there are many intriguing loose ends that need to be tidied up. I personally cannot wait!

Drena Irish

A thoroughly gripping read and definitely a clever novel in these current extraordinary times.

My first foray into the work of Jan Turk Petrie and what a read it was. A story comprising great elements; time travel over 2 decades, romance, friendship, family values, employment angst and above all intrigue mixed with a little paranoia.

I really enjoyed the flow of the book and the style of the authors writing. The two main characters were well drawn, likeable and dare I say compatible leaving the age/time difference aside. The author vividly created contemporary scenes which were accurately portrayed. This reader wanted to be in the pub garden scene where they figured out their next move whilst Tom apologized for Beth's unusual behaviour. There were many humorous lines throughout - "doing a Jackson Pollock with the condiments" was one that stood out for me! The writing was poignant and having chapters recalling the way of life in 1982 showed how far life and technology has moved on almost without us realising the advances. The topic was bang up to date detailing life in lockdown and our newly-found constant use of masks and hand sanitizers. 

I don't think I would be able to travel on the 'Gustav Holst' 125 train to Cheltenham Spa without feeling nervous when approaching the tunnel that was responsible for so much of the story. But a thoroughly gripping read and definitely a clever novel in these current extraordinary times. 

Caroline Highy

This was such an unusual book and so interesting to read about time travel between the two decades. I really engaged with the characters and it was written really well.

This is the first book I have read about the pandemic and it was so strange to see all the terminology we are used to now, in a fiction book. However, that didn’t put me off and I enjoyed the journey that this book took me on from today, going back to the 1980s.

Tom, the main character is the book is currently furloughed from his job in travel and has moved back to his Mum’s house in the Cotswolds. After spending his days going on long walks to fill his time, he gets a call from a friend about some potential work in London. He jumps on the train and this is where his life changes dramatically. He is transported back to 1982, where it is so interesting to see how much everything has changed from money to mobile phones to all the cultural changes that have happened. While in 1982, Tom meets Beth and they go on an interesting journey together.

This was such an unusual book and so interesting to read about time travel between the two decades. I really engaged with the characters and it was written really well. 

Nicola Edwards

This was a really good “time travel” story, so just suspend disbelief and Enjoy!

I should think everyone wishes they could have been in another year other than 2020, but what if you found yourself suddenly  back in the 80’s?

This is what happens to Tom, and then he meets Beth and she ends up 40 years in the future in the middle of a pandemic.

Neither of them can fit in each other’s time but they are destined to be together. 

This was a really good “time travel” story, so just suspend disbelief and Enjoy!

Maureen Gourlay

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781912855933
Publication date: 01/03/2021
Format: Paperback

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About Jan Turk Petrie

As a writer, Jan Turk Petrie is always keen to challenge herself and come up with something original.  Her first published novels – the three volumes that make up The Eldísvík Trilogy – are Nordic noir thrillers set some fifty years in the future.  Her fourth novel - ‘Too Many Heroes’ – is, by contrast, a period romantic thriller set in the early 1950s.  Jan’s fifth novel - ‘Towards the Vanishing Point’ is a work of historical literary fiction.  Before becoming a writer, Jan was an ...

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