Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson

When I was about 12, the film Somewhere in Time came on TV during Thanksgiving weekend. To this DAY, I remember what it felt like to sit tucked up in my Mom's beige armchair, kleenex dissolving in my hand while I sniffled and wiped my eyes as efficiently as possible to not miss seeing one moment on screen.

From that day onward, the characters of Elise McKenna and Richard Collier have been hard-wired into my heart. Even just saying their names gives me a tingle of familiarity and emotion that I cannot explain. Christopher Reeve may have been an epic Superman, but to me this is how I will always remember him. Jane Seymour,  young and delicate in this role so early in her career, could not have been better suited for the ingenue, Miss McKenna.



There is quite the cult following for this 1980 film as well, with many tourists and fans collecting at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, to dress up, play the roles and immerse themselves as fully as possible in the story of time travel, romance and self-discovery that made the film famous. Jane Seymour, herself, has visited the Hotel during its Somewhere in Time celebration in 2015. You KNOW visiting The Grand Hotel is on my Bucket List. 

The soundtrack, beautifully composed by John Barry has been played repeatedly throughout key moments in my life, making me feel all the feels from when I was 12. I even brought the cassette into the delivery room when I gave birth to both my girls because it calms me and makes me feel something I cannot say with words. Neither time did I actually get to play it, however - but I am playing it even now as I type this. Music is such a powerful emotional tool for me.

Ok, suffice it to say that I already have significant affection for this film, and when I approached the book that started it all, I was a little gun-shy. Initially titled "Bid Time Return", Matheson wrote this novel in a rather unique manner, by attempting to live Collier's emotional experience as much as possible, while dictating into a tape recorder the entire time. According to somewhereintime.tv, it was the first time the author has written in a manner such as this. Best known for darker titles such as I Am Legend, which also boasts a film adaptation (not one I will waste time discussing, however), Matheson had a dynamic way of putting words together and creating moments that appear simple and unimpressive but upon looking back at what you've just read you realize he did something quite impressive. He was not a one-trick pony. He also wrote What Dreams May Come, Hell House, A Stir of Echoes and Duel - all of which became films in the 80's and 90's. 



Somewhere in Time, the novel, took me on a wonderful journey. It did not hold back and the inner monologue of Collier's character was a reliable guide taking me on a romantic journey that was different enough from the film that I was unsure what would happen next. I liked it. Not as much as the film, however, which almost NEVER happens for me, but in this case, my history with the cinematic version was so imprinted on my heart that it was hard for the novel to equally satisfy. On its own, it was a great novel. 

As Readers, we often get so distracted by the bright & shiny current bestsellers list that we often neglect the backlist titles, ones who have been collecting dust on shelves, waiting to be discovered by avid readers who want to be taken on a remarkable adventure.

This was one such book for me.

4/5

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