BOOK CLUB: The Psychology of Time Travel

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Author: Kate Mascarenhas
ISBN: 9781788540117
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: 1 August 2018
Publisher: Harper Collins
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

The Psychology of Time Travel ended up left until last because I was ever so determined to get it read. I still plan to read it but I ran out of time to get it done before deadlines. I do hope to start the book tomorrow but I have October to start working on.

The Psychology of Time Travel is dual timelines, from 1967 to 2017 and beyond. It is the debut of Kate Mascarenhas and couples female protagonists with time travel and murder mystery. You can see why I’m intrigued and excited by the prospect of this one, which has garnered some great reviews and been received really well.

The cover is gorgeous with it’s embroidery look images, of things you don’t often see embroidered, and that alone would be enough to have me picking this one up for a look.

Four female scientists invent a time-travel machine in 1967, and just as they are about to hit the big time one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project at risk.

In 2017 Granny Bee refuses to talk about her past but Ruby knows she was one of the four. A message from the near future reporting a mysterious death changes that.

Odette is frustrated when an inquest finds no answers to the questions of the body she found but everyone is trying to cover up the murder.

Intrigue, murder and time-travel. I’m enthralled thinking about it and I hope our readers are loving it.

Kate Mascarenhas can be found on her Website and Twitter.

The Psychology of Time Travel is available through Harper Collins, Angus and Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Harper Collins 20 of our lucky Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading The Psychology of Time Travel so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below. I can’t wait to read what they thought.


20 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Psychology of Time Travel

  1. The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas and published by Head of Zeus, is an interesting but somewhat curious book – and I found it quite hard to ‘suspend my disbelief’.

    Whilst I enjoyed the narrative about how four female scientists concerted effort resulted in the invention of a time travel machine, I found the actual time travel discussion quite confusing, and it left me feeling quite giddy… Jumping back and forth in time, interacting with older and younger versions of yourself and your loved ones – it is no wonder! I had to keep an eye on the chapter headings to keep track and to know when things were supposed to be happening. I don’t think I would have passed the psychometric testing that all prospective time travelers must undertake!! Too disorientating for me.

    In this world, past, present and future all collide, so for example actions from the present may have ramifications in the past or in the future. And aging, dying or being born have less impact. Even finding your life partner is less fraught. Just pop into a time machine and check out your future, then head back to the present and meet up!! – Kind of takes away the allure… It is in this world that a murder mystery is set, a murder mystery that flits back and forth between the present, the past and the future in a dizzying way.

    This is certainly an original story, and it does take a different perspective to most time travel stories by its focus on the affect such ‘era hopping’ can have on people’s mental health. Interestingly too all the main characters are women (in all their many varied forms). However despite many positives, sadly I found this book a little disappointing.

  2. I was fascinated by ‘The Psychology of Time Travel’, a debut novel by Kate Mascarenhas. I think this is an unusual story, but perhaps that is because I have never read a book about time travel before.
    The story moves between 1967 & 2018 with references to earlier times and future times up to the 2020’s.
    In 1967 four young women invent a time travel machine. As they travel through time it impacts on their well being. One of the women has a breakdown and is removed from the team and they are never to contact her again.
    Woven into the story are the issues of friendship and our responsibilities for others, fidelity, racial discrimination, justice.
    The time travellers meet up with their older and younger selves, so that there can be a number of the same person together at once.. I found some of the story disconcerting. I could not understand parts and became confused.
    Mascarenhas does an excellent job of tying the characters and the story together. There is a murder which seems unsolvable. The various characters with seemingly nothing in common, later have close links to each other and the time travellers.
    My review may seem a little disjointed, perhaps because the novel jumps from time to time and I find it difficult to describe the story line.
    In all it is well worth reading, if you have not read time travel stories before , or you are looking for something a little different to the usual murder mystery this book is for you.
    I thank Beauty & Lace and the Publishers Head of Zeus for the opportunity to review it.

  3. The psychology of time travel is an unusual novel about the topic because it does not focus on changing history but rather explores the impact of time travel on travellers in the background of a mysterious murder.

    The novel starts with the 4 young women successfully inventing time travel. The public breakdown of one of them leads to her exclusion from the group. A mysterious note sends her grand-daughter to the Time travelling world which has been a family taboo until then. The story also follows Odette a university student who found a body, the traumatic experience and the absence of answers during the investigation also leads her to the Time Travelling world.

    The story is well tight together and I enjoyed the time travelling challenges and the solutions adopted by the Conclave (a Time travel ministry). How does time travel alter the perception of death? It also explores the impact on relationships and how they get formed – time traveller already know who will be their partner. It was also interesting to think about the more practical issues on the justice and finance systems for example.

    Overall, I enjoyed the book because it offers a different perspective on time travel but it was not an easy read because of the non-linearity of the stories and the many characters and their future selves. I kept an eye on the chapter headings but it was still challenging at times. It probably reflects the message of the book about the challenges on the mind of time travellers.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and the publishers for the opportunity to review this novel.

  4. I see that this book has huge potential but is just a little rough around the edges. The concept of time travel is awesome with the possibilities endless and with so much available to use I was a little surprised by the interactions of future and past selves happening so easily. I am sure there are many scientists turning in their graves over that.

    The story line was good and the interaction between the characters well developed. I am not overly sure what the purpose of writing out one of the characters due to a public meltdown was necessary and would have liked to have seen this resolved in a different manner, afterall they do have a time machine and are meant to be friends…..

    There were a number of holes in the plot which was annoying as they could have been closed off, perhaps this was an opening for a future story. A little more development in the storyline would enhance this but as a debut book I say ‘Well done and I look forward to more books from this author.

  5. The psychology of time travel is a really interesting read for such an ‘out there’ concept. The crux being- four female scientists invent a time travel machine and the drama and difficulties faced with such a brave and confronting invention.
    I appreciated the difficulty of writing different characters in different time spans, sometimes however finding myself getting lost in the founders’ narratives, but loved the character of Odette and found myself just wanting to read the whole story from her perspective.
    I found the handling of the travellers interacting with their green selves and silver selves really interesting and well handled and overall didn’t find the subject too far fetched, which really is a credit to the writing. Overall I would recommend to anyone with an open mind willing to read something different and unique and enjoyed the book and will likely read something by the author again.

    Thanks to beauty and lace and the publisher for the read.

  6. 3 possibly 3.5***

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book club and HarperCollins AU for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

    I’ve had to really think about this review, it isn’t that I didn’t enjoy it, to some extent it was hard to put down because I wanted to know the mystery about who died in the pump room and who committed the crime. I did find that there were a lot of characters to keep track of and a lot of years to keep track of them in and at times I’d have to flick back through the book to rediscover who I was reading about. The idea of time travel has always intrigued me, but as we learn through the story and human nature would dictate, this something that would always lead to corruption in one way or another. My favourite character was Barbara and I felt so sorry for her and the way she was treated by the rest of her team, especially Margaret who was a completely unlikable character. There were many twists and turns throughout the story as you would imagine with a time travel book, things are not linear or straightforward. Looking back, I may have enjoyed it more than I thought I did at the time. It is definitely a unique story with a interesting premise.

  7. The Psychology of Time Travel. By Kate Mascarenhas

    I loved this book! It has such an original slant on time travel, and gets the reader thinking.

    The story begins in 1967 with four women (yay!!) inventing a time machine.
    Then it travels between then and 2018, sometimes dipping into pre 1967 and going into the future into the 2030’s and beyond.

    A murder is woven into the plot, and the reader is left wondering how all the time zones and the time travellers are involved, until a thrilling race to the final pages tells us how it is all linked up.

    A satisfying debut novel by Kate Mascarenhas.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club, and to HarperCollins Books for the chance to escape into the future with this one.

  8. 4/5 For The Psychology of Time Travel Kate Mascarenhas, thanks to the publisher and Beauty and Lace.
    So I am not sure what the other readers thought, but I found this book a hoot, and do hope it was meant to be clever, funny and mysterious. The gentle start with the introduction of the 4 time travelling woman was well written, very accessible and matter of fact. The rabbit Patrick (Troughton?) was a nice touch. You felt they were real these characters, each with strong and different personalities. Matter of fact is a good way to describe the book, as it goes along with time travel as an ordinary part of life- you can buy dolls at the toy store, which I though was funny, and get checked in and out of your time zones like at an airport really (So why are you visiting 2027?) It all made me smile which is a good time. I did make a mistake reading this book over too long a time, as you are travelling between times and places and characters and I read fairly fast, I should have blitzed the book in an afternoon, as I did find I had to reminder myself where I was, working towards what happened, to the shot woman.
    There are some very clever concepts dealt with in the book that are interesting and thought provoking, there is one bit where Grace or Bee, I forget which is looking for her current self only to find all her versions were not on the base at the time- again its funny and clever. Also the book that they give themselves from the past, looking up the date of deaths, and how of course. All good stuff for a book group to discuss?
    I really enjoyed the story, characters, the Grace and Ruby story and the way time travel was weaved in and out of what to my mind was a great story with strong characters. I would recommend giving it a go as something quite different but very approachable and easy to read.

  9. What a gorgeous complex world Kate Mascarenhas has created in such a believable way. And not one male character! I loved the touch at the end with the psychometric tests and reference to journal articles written in 2020. I am a registered psychologist, but I think everyone will find ‘The Psychology of Time Travel’ as entertaining and enjoyable as I did.

  10. The cover draws you in for this one- it is attractive, a nice thing to hold. Reading the story, I enjoyed the book, Bee in in particular was a complex character that seemed to have unravelled and was quite different in the future. So at the start the 4 ladies start developing time travel and become famous but Bee has a mind melt and is cut out. Later, she is drawn back into the time world, with a dead body to investigate along the way. The jumping around style is not my favourite but okay for a blitz read. I liked the friendly writing and although the book is full of women these each had a different personality, some strong, and hard, some softer, kinder, and that made it feel real. I lost my way a little in the middle but got back on track towards the end. Thanks to the publisher and Beauty and Lace- 4/5 stars.

  11. The debut novel from Kate Mascarenhas is an interesting and timely topic, delving into the world of time travel and the lives of 4 women flitting between 1967 and the present day. Inject a little mystery in the form of a murder and lives crossing between the past and the present, I found the writing style highly engaging, if not a little hard to follow between the times and places. I found I was sometimes having to re read parts, just to make sure I was keeping up with who is who but I loved all the characters and would have failed the battery of psychometric tests given in order to be a successful candidate for time travelling.
    A very interesting read and look forward to reading more of Kate’s novels in the future 🙂

  12. I was excited to get the opportunity to review The Psychology of Time Travel. The book is not my normal genre, but it’s blurb had me hooked
    The book’s cover is a work of an art itself and I couldn’t wait to dive in
    This is essentially a tale of time travel. It centres around 4 women who in the 1960s pioneer time travel. This is when things start to go askew when one of the women has a breakdown
    I’ll admit I found the first half of the book hard going. The flirting between different times and the characters introduced after the main four had my head in a bit of a whirl
    However then things really sped up as I sorted things in my mind and I read into the wee hours to finish
    There are a lot of different elements to this novel: the concept of time travel, a body and a murder to solve. The main concept that persevered was that despite being able to time travel,human beings are still human beings and characteristics and human failings do not change
    This is an awesome first novel and I look forward to seeing where Kate Mascarenhas goes with future works.
    Thanks so much to Beauty and Lace and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to review this brilliant debut novel

  13. I will start by saying other than the obvious thank yous that I am a huge sci-fi nerd, so getting a book that combines sci-fi concepts with a murder AND Psychology? Wow, I was in heaven! My only complaint is that there is no next book in the universe Kate Mascarenhas has created yet! I’m one of the last to review because I did not want this gem to end. I’ll be starting it again straight away. For me, it is a keeper and I think it will be a dogeared copy before many years have passed. There are so many stories, time streams, concepts and characters in this book, well beyond the four pioneers, Granddaughter of Bee, Ruby and Odette and the mysterious death that are mentioned in the blurb. It’s a really complex, well woven and so very interesting. I do love the nod to Doctor Who in the naming of the first live time travelling rabbit too!!!

  14. Firstly, this book has a beautiful cover, it is gorgeous!
    Secondly, i recommend you go into this with fully functioning brain power.

    It begins in 1967 when 4 female scientists invent time travel. One of the 4, Barbara has a breakdown and is ousted from the project.

    Fast forward to 2017 and we are introduced to Barbaras granddaughter Ruby,(who i really enjoyed as a character) Barbara’s daughter (Rubys mum) has never been comfortable discussing Barbara’s past however her time travelling past becomes hard to ignore when Ruby and Bee receive a message about a crime….from the future.

    Fast forward to 2018, the crime takes place and Odette is the unfortunate one that finds the body.

    We are taken on a journey through the inner workings of the Time Travel Conclave and and the effect that time travel has on the individuals mind and body.

    The concept of the book could be confusing at times.
    There are alot of characters to keep up with, crossed decades and younger and older selves.

    I did love that all the main characters were strong females.

    It was a fun read ( the Time Travel Conclave’s Battery of Psychometric Tests at the back of the book was an added bonus)

  15. I was sold on The Psychology of Time Travel, just based on the intriguing title choice and front cover. The front cover is quite deceiving, it features an embroidered set of motifs, almost cosy in nature. This is quite a facade, as beneath this novel lies a complex exploration of time travel. The Psychology of Time Travel is aptly titled, this debut novel offers up one of the most in depth and alternative investigations of time travel I have encountered, focusing on the mental health and psychology of those who are involved in this unfathomable concept.

    It was with some trepidation that I went into The Psychology of Time Travel. Although I am a great fan of the Back to the Future (who isn’t?) film series, I wasn’t a fan of The Time Traveler’s Wife. In addition, a recent novel I read this year for book club that was based on time travel proved to be too much of challenge for me! Anyhow, I digress, I tried very hard to go into the reading experience of The Psychology of Time Travel with an open mind. I did appreciate many elements of this novel, the transcendence aspect blew my mind, along with the pioneering work of this brave group of intelligent women. However, I encountered my usual problem with time travel books, the non linear narrative irked me, I did get confused and this ultimately impacted my overall response to the novel.

    For those with an open mind and an ability to gain the upper hand over multiple time zones, this book will dazzle you! For a debut novel, I am particularly impressed by Kate Mascarenhas’s willingness to compose of novel of this magnitude, she is highly ambitious and kudos to her. I also appreciated the feminist slant of this novel, it isn’t your face, it is subtle but I liked this focus, it is a great nod to the novel Hidden Figures. What also worked in this novel were the wide range of overarching issues covered from; the justice system, discrimination, family dynamics, moral codes, mental health, friendships, relationships and so much more. The book also carefully begs the reader to place themselves in the position of the female scientists in this story and consider how they would react to being placed in this disorientating set of events. So much food for thought!

    As a bonus, not only is this an analysis of the work and impact of time travel has on small group of women, The Psychology of Time Travel is also a murder mystery with a difference. With factors such as different time zones and possible suspects from the past and future thrown into the mix, this intriguing aspect of the story remains quite ambiguous until the close. Be rest assured, the final few pages are fascinating and it is pleasing to see how Mascarenhas handles the resolution of the murder mystery. I think readers who have invested their time in this novel, will be satisfied by the close of the book.

    So despite some reservations and personal difficulties with the structure of the narrative, I did enjoy many elements of The Psychology of Time Travel, it proved to be a revolutionary read. Based on the visionary approach of this debut, I am very keen to see what the author, Kate Mascarenhas, serves up next. I’m sure it will be just as innovative as this one.

    *I wish to thank Beauty & Lace/Harper Collins Books Australia for a copy of this book for review.

  16. Being a Sci Fi tragic I eagerly waited The Psychology of Time Travel. First impression was that I did not think the cover related to a time travel book but you can’t tell a book by its cover. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the book that exciting either. A tale of intelligent women getting together and inventing a time machine but you find during their travels in time that the women don’t support each other … more interested in success.. Intelligent women but not strong women. A murder takes place with a body found in a locked room. You think it is a traveller zipping in doing the deadly deed and zipping out but no… its not that simple. I found the book had too many characters cutting from one character to another and one time to another and too many side stories of the interwoven lives of those people. One mad male time traveller put in a little potential for excitement but he quickly disappeared not to be heard of again. The book is about what the the title states … the psychology of time travel . a little murder mystery but mainly about the mental state of the travellers..
    Its interesting and very different…. you can put it down but you will want to read to the end.
    Would I ever time travel after reading this. YES !.
    Rates 6/10 .. Different and I like different. Great first go.

  17. I LOVED this book. I was a bit hesitant to choose this one as I’m not overly fond of time travel books, but I am so glad I did. It’s more than a fantasy/Sci-Fi novel, in fact, I wouldn’t really classify it as a fantasy novel at all. It’s a mystery. It’s a story about friendships. It’s about relationships where the power-balance is one-sided (as one person knows what’s going to happen next, and the other doesn’t have a clue). And it’s about ethics and what happens when one group of people move beyond societies “norms” and rules.

    If you could know the future, but couldn’t change it. If you knew the exact moment of your death and could do nothing to avoid it. If a loved ones death did not mean the end, as you could keep visiting them in the past over and over again until only your own death meant anything to you. How would that change you? Absolutely fascinating.

  18. I loved this book! Sometimes I felt a bit lost between the past and present. But it was interesting and different. Imagine a time travelling murder! Well things are not always as they seem. Not for the faint hearted, but just think what traveling through time could do to you mentally? Great book but you must be focused on it at all times it or you may not know where you are.

  19. What I loved best about this book was that the scientists were all women working together as a team towards something as ground breaking as time travel no less. The emotional well being of a time traveller is something not usually dealt with in most sci fi novels and this has to be an integral part of any time travel experience. I did find the bewildering meandering jumps between time a bit much but that’s exactly I guess how any time traveller would experience it. Really gave me food for thought on the many emotional and practical day to day issues that would have to be dealt with. The strain and tension and edge of the seat excitement at the start is my favorite part of the story. The hope mixed with dread at actually succeeding brings to mind the saying “be careful what you wish for!”
    I always loved the idea of time travel but now this book has given me pause, at least I would choose not to travel to my future but rather the distant past and distant future!

  20. I must say I really enjoyed this novel and love the front cover.
    A mixture of genres, sci-fi, mystery and part thriller!

    Four female scientists who invented a time travel machine in the 1967. It is told through a number of prespectives across different time zones.a mysterious body is found in 2017 which has no identity. The hunt for the killer is intreging and leaves suspense!

    Overall I really enjoyed this novel. Defiantly worth reading!

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