cover image In Another Time

In Another Time

Jillian Cantor. Harper Perennial, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-286332-4

Cantor (The Lost Letter) stumbles with this awkward blend of historical romance and science fiction. Through dual timelines and multiple points of view, Cantor tells the love story of Max Beissinger, a bookstore owner in the German town of Gutenstat, and Hanna Ginsberg, an earnest violin student. Their relationship is complicated because it’s the early 1930s and Hanna is Jewish, but Max isn’t. They remain together despite Germany’s growing anti-Semitism, opposition from Hanna’s family, and Max’s occasional unexplained disappearances. In the second timeline, Hanna wakes up alone in a field outside Berlin in 1946, remembering nothing of the last 10 years. She joins her sister in London, where she carves out a career as a concert violinist and struggles to recover her memory. Hanna has a chance for new romance with a fellow violinist, but she still loves Max and wants to know what happened to him. Cantor weaves in a science fiction angle to explain Max’s mysterious absences and possibly account for Hanna’s lost years, but this element isn’t fully developed, and the ending comes across as less a twist than a letdown. This won’t go down as one of Cantor’s finer works. Agent: Jessica Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Mar.)