Time of My Life: Book summary and reviews of Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch

Time of My Life

A Novel

By Allison Winn Scotch

Time of My Life
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2008,
    288 pages.

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Book Summary

From the outside view, Jillian Westfield has a pitch-perfect life. Her cherubic 18-month old daughter, her wildly successful investment banker husband, a four-bedroom, five-bath, lemon-scented home with landscaping and neighbors to match. But that doesn’t stop her from mulling over the past, from pushing away the “what ifs” that haunt her when she allows them to seep into her consciousness. What if she hadn’t married Henry? What if she hadn’t abandoned her job at the first sign of pregnancy? What if she’d never broken up with Jackson ? What if she answered her mother’s letter? Because underneath the shiny veneer of her life, Jill waddles around in a faltering marriage, brewing resentment, and an air of discontentedness.

But after an ethereal massage in which her therapist releases her blocked chi, she wakes up to discover that she’s been whisked seven years back, back to her old life, her old self, back to the moments in which she made decisions that charted her future course. And now that she’s back, she’s faced with the same roadblocks and obstacles, only this time, armed with hindsight, she can choose a different path and finally lay to rest all of her “what ifs.”

Time of My Life is much more than a story about a real life desperate housewife. Instead, it speaks to so many of our tiny, lingering doubts, the same doubts that send us googling old friends and exes or wistfully pulling out pictures of days gone by. And through Jillian’s journey, in which she rediscovers the mother who abandoned her, reacquaints herself with the strengths she once deemed important, and may literally rewrite her future, we all get a chance to peek inside the windows of our own “what ifs,” and consider if the path we took was the one that has granted us the most happiness.


Read an excerpt at the author's website.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Time of My Life is a fabulous, madcap read, but don't be fooled: Allison Winn Scotch's narrator is wrestling with some tough issues: how do I find my place in the world? Can I become a wife and mother without losing myself? Would I have been happier if I had chosen another path? Scotch's book is hilarious and true. I loved it." - Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Sleep Toward Heaven, How To Be Lost and Rescue Me.

"Time of My Life is for anyone who has asked the question "what if?", which is to say that this book is for everyone. This story of one woman's big regrets and choices will keep you reading all night, and guessing till the very end. An honest and engaging tale about how hindsight may not be twenty-twenty, and how our decisions are rarely black and white. I loved it." -Julie Buxbaum, author of The Opposite of Love.

"Scotch keeps one dexterous step ahead of page-flipping readers eager to guess the outcome." - Publishers Weekly.

"If you've ever wanted your own do over, this cute, light read by a debut novelist will keep you guessing 'til the end. Recommended for women's fiction collections." - Library Journal.

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Karen @ Planet Books, Book Reviews
Second Chance Or Just A Dream?
What would you do if you daydreamed about your old life to the point that you were given the chance to relive it for a second chance at happiness? That is what Jillian, the protagonist of Allison Winn Scotch’s upcoming release, Time of My Life, is faced with.

Sure, we are always seeing the greener grass on the other side of the fence of life but we are in the life we are in because of the paths we chose that brought us here. Sometimes I wonder how I got here. Here being in a fun, loving and loyal marriage; living in Okinawa; having great friends literally all over the world and being as happy and busy as I am. But some days I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t taken that temp job in Hubby’s building and met him, if I had stayed in Denver ten years ago and not run home to Maryland full of homesickness. If you don’t have moments of wonder and reminiscing than you just aren’t human. It is human nature to always wonder, “What if?”

Allison Winn Scotch replaces Jillian in her past seven years back. Into a relationship with the man she still wonders “what if” about when her marriage to Henry doesn’t feel shiny and perfect anymore. In her old life she is a mother of an adorable little girl, the wife of a overworked husband who she pushes away when he is home because he’s just in her way, and a desperate housewife who is always going at full speed in order to make life seem perfect and desirable from the outside looking in.

When Jillian ends up seven years in her past after a freak chi experiment administered by her gorgeous massage therapist Garland she wonders if this is her second chance at being happy (edited to remove plot spoilers)

The underlying story line in Time of My Life was the relationship, or lack there of, between Jillian and the mother that deserted her and her family when she was just a child. After discovering that this woman who haunted her in both the future and the past is just a stones throw after all this time, Jillian begins to realize what may have caused her mother to leave all those years ago. The fears that Jillian faces as a mother herself are overwhelming and terrifying at times and when she looks back and actually moves towards a relationship with her mother, she begins to understand.

But after all the fun and wondering if this is really a second chance or just a freak of nature/time space, Jillian starts to realize what she thought she wanted and regretted were not in her past but right in front of her in her “real” life.

Time of My Life was an okay read but for some reason it didn’t grasp my attention like I wished it had. I don’t know if it was the book's concept or the voice of the main character, Jillian, that bored me. I wanted to enjoy this great idea of a woman who appears to time travel (still don’t know exactly what happened, if Jillian actually stepped backwards in time or was just dreaming) and gets a second chance with one of her great loves as well as the opportunity to rebuild a broken relationship with her own mother. I wonder if I was just reading it at the wrong time for me?

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Mary (Greeley, CO)
Revisiting Choices
Even though I am generally a little too much of a realist to comfortably read and enjoy stories of time travel, I was nonetheless very excited to read Allison Winn Scotch's new novel. I have to admit that the concept of the main character (Jillian) retreating seven years and reliving (possibly even altering) events did strain my brain at times. That aside, I really responded to the emotional honesty of Jilly as she worked her way through issues, and the writing itself was crisp, clever, and engaging. Toward the end, I almost couldn't wait to see how it all resolved, and I always love when I feel that kind of uncertainty and anticipation in a book. It was a great read and a book I will definitely recommend to my friends.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Carol
Time of my LIfe
What gal or guy hasn’t thought – what if I had only chosen Lonnie instead of Jim or Cindy instead of Sue, what if? Or in the case of Jill Westfield, the main character in Allison Scotch’s funny, but honest and latest novel, “Time of My Life” – Jackson instead of Henry. This tale, based on the 1940’s idiom - hindsight is anything but twenty-twenty. Jill finds herself seven years in the past and is given a chance to revisit her life as a highly paid advertising executive, a stay- at-home wife and a devoted mother. Through trial and error Jill rethinks her biggest decisions and find that life’s decisions are rarely black and white. Good vacation read!

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Mary
Time of My Life
This book asks the big question among middle-agers, the what ifs. "What if I had chosen the other path? What would have been the consequences? Would my life have been more satisfying and happier? What if . . ., what if . . .?" It's a question we wrestle with daily. Time of My Life lets you "see" what happens when a wife and mother does have that opportunity to revisit the past. Are the consequences of second-chance decisions any better? Are they satisfying?

This is a good book to read for fun and pleasure, but it also has a deeper side. It will nudge you to think of the decisions in your life and perhaps put the "what ifs" in their proper place.

I also must add I love the cover!

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Rosalyn
Time of My Life
Hasn't there been a time when you looked around your current life and wonder what it would have been like if you had made different choices? My single friends and I have this conversation all of the time. We especially like to talk about 'The One Who Got Away'. That is the guy that we think, wow, I should have made a better effort to make that relationship work. Jillian gets a second chance at 'The One Who Got Away".

I thought this book would be more of a beach read however it delivered a deeper message that what I was expecting. The main reason for rating this a '3' rather than a '4' is because I wanted to hear less of what Jillian was thinking (her story was told in the first person) and know more about the people and situations going on around her.

I was satisfied with the read and would recommend it to readers who enjoy 'Chick Lit'.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by La Deana
The Road Not Taken
Time of my Life is a nicely written book of "what ifs" that many women face. What if I chose a different guy? What if I didn't have this child or this job? Do our choices ultimately matter or does how we handle our choices matter more? I enjoyed this somewhat lighthearted look at the road not taken. Ms. Scotch gives us a fun story wrapped around the premise that sometimes what really needs to change is us.I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a quick read with a little twist!

...9 more reader reviews

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