Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Once Upon A Timepiece
Publisher: Bo Tree Books
Publication date: November 29, 2013
Source: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
Once Upon a Timepiece, by Starr Wood chronicles the journey of a 1940s watch, that in the present day is extremely valuable and desirable. The watch's journey begins with a case of mistaken identity. At age 21, Conrad Sands' girlfriend of sorts, Mariana, gave him her grandfather's watch and soon after they went their own ways (by her choice) and hadn't been in contact since (also her choice). Now, twenty years later, they are reconnecting and Conrad wants to return the watch in the process. But when he enters the bar and sees a beautiful and accomplished looking woman sitting with her coat on the stool next to her, he knows he cannot measure up to all she appears to be. He leaves the watch and a note with the waiter to give her. As the woman is considering the watch, another woman with grey hair and an aged and accident damaged face enters the bar, asking if a man happened to be waiting for someone, mentioning that his name would be Conrad and hers is Mariana. The beautiful woman says she hopes Mariana isn't being stood up and leaves the bar still wondering who sent her the watch. It's a case of mistaken identity (or Conrad's assumption - you know what they say about assuming right?) that sends the watch on a crazy journey during the next year.
The next eleven chapters of the book - one for each month of the year - find the watch being lost, left behind, stolen, sold, etc. Each chapter begins with the watch in the hands of a new person and ends with the watch leaving that person in a twist of fate...and so the chapters connect as the watch travels. It journeys through people from all walks of life, involved in all sorts of life situations. Every time the watch seems to quietly reveal something about a person or situation in which it is present.
After passing through a banker, journalist, accountant, manager, mother, maid, entrepreneur, reverend's apprentice, professor, art collector, and a jack of all trades, the watch finally comes full circle, back to Conrad and Marianna. What I liked about this book is that although the chapters are all connected through the watch's presence, they can be read like individual short stories. Each chapter has a twist ending, which I soon caught onto and began trying to guess how any given situation would play out. Once Upon a Timepiece is not a long or difficult read, simply enjoyable. Not only am I a sucker for a twist ending (and technically this book gives you 11 twist endings), but also because I like to see the connectedness of things that we may never know about.
Do you like twist endings? What's your favorite book with a twist ending?