Looking in from the outside, Jill Westfield leads the perfect life. She lives in an affluent New York suburb, is happily married to Henry, a successful lawyer, and is a model mother to her beautiful daughter Katie. But, underneath it all, cracks in their seven year marriage are becoming more and more obvious. Since becoming a partner in his firm, Henry is traveling more and more, rarely coming home to his wife and daughter. Jill, an advertising executive turned housewife, is left to tend the household and raise Katie. She immerses herself in decorating, in cooking, in throwing the best birthday parties, but the loneliness she feels – the loneliness that has been there ever since her own mother abandoned her when she was nine – is hard to escape. Jill moves through her days full of chores and errands on auto-pilot, with Henry seemingly oblivious to the disconnect growing in their marriage.
When Jill hears that her ex Jackson, the one she left after meeting Henry, is getting married, she is sent into a tailspin of what ifs. What if leaving Jackson was not the right decision? What if this was not the life she was meant to live? What if she made the wrong choices all along? Waking up the next morning, Jill finds herself in her oldpre-marriage apartment, the apartment she shared with Jackson. Through some weird time warp, she is thrown back in time to a life pre-Henry, pre-Katie, and most importantly, pre her break-up with Jackson.
Living her past with the knowledge of the future, Jill is making new choices with 20/20 hindsight. She avoids the arguments that led to the demise of her relationship with Jackson, she patches things up with his family, and breathes through campaign pitches at work, already knowing that they will be a success. However, Jill’s decisions also affect the lives of those around her, sending them on paths she could not anticipate. Will her second chance allow her to make the choices she believes she should have made the first time around, or is she fated to the life she was already leading?
Time of My Life is Allison Winn Scotch’s second novel, and an immensely enjoyable and engaging one at that. The abrupt time travel switch from Jill’s present life to her past one aside, Time of My Life is an interesting look at fate, and of how one single choice can lead to a completely different set of outcomes. I was constantly on the edge of my seat wondering whether Jill would stay with Jackson and let her life take a different direction, or if she would be pulled back to Henry and the motherhood she misses once it’s no longer there.
Time of My Life is both an easy and light read, and one that can spark interesting discussions among its readers.