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Reviews of Time's Mouth by Edan Lepucki

Time's Mouth by Edan Lepucki

Time's Mouth

A Novel

by Edan Lepucki
  • Critics' Opinion:
  • Readers' Opinion:
  • First Published:
  • Aug 1, 2023
  • Paperback:
  • Aug 2024
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About This Book

Book Summary

From New York Times bestselling author Edan Lepucki comes an enthralling saga about family secrets that grow more powerful with time, set against the magical, dangerous landscape of California

Ursa possesses a very special gift. She can travel through memory and revisit her past. After she flees her hometown for the counterculture glory of 1950's California, the intoxicating potential of her unique ability eventually draws a group of women into her orbit and into a ramshackle Victorian mansion in the woods outside Santa Cruz. Yet Ursa's powers come with a cost. Soon this cultish community of sisterhood takes an ominous turn, prompting her son, Ray, and his pregnant lover, Cherry, to flee their home for Los Angeles and reinvent themselves far from Ursa's insidious influence. But escaping their past won't be so easy. A series of mysterious events forces Cherry to abandon their baby, leaving Ray to raise Opal alone.

Now a teenager and still heartbroken over the abandonment of the mother she never knew, Opal must journey into her own past to reveal the generations of secrets that gave rise to the shimmering source of her family's painful legacy.

From the forests of Santa Cruz, to the 1980s glam of Melrose Avenue to a solitary mansion among the oil derricks off La Cienega Boulevard, and brimming with the double-edged capacity of memory to both heal and harm, Time's Mouth is a poignant and evocative excavation of the bonds that bind families together.

Part One Chapter One

Let's begin with Ursa.
She is Ray's mother—though, in 1938, when she is born in the caul like a mystic in Mystic, Connecticut, that lineage is yet to be written. Her name isn't even Ursa yet. It's Sharon.

At first, Sharon is only a beautiful baby, and then an adorable little girl, living with her parents in a creaking clapboard house with a narrow staircase and the faint tickle of mildew in both bathrooms. On a chair by the front door her father's hat settles like a mound of dark soil.

Imagine Mystic, Connecticut, back then: the brick post office, the ships in the port, the sea salt in the air. Imagine young Sharon, the child she used to be, bows at the end of her pigtails, saddle shoes on her feet, porcelain dolls lining her bedroom shelf. Nothing amiss. Or everything.

Imagine her a few years older: slipping into reverie during a dull classroom lesson, or riding her bike through town, or biting her nails. Picture her at sixteen years old, lying on her ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Time's Mouth explores how trauma can linger in a family, its effects passed down through successive generations. The plot is both complex and involving; it's one of the more inventive storylines I've encountered in quite some time, and I was rapt from start to finish...continued

Full Review Members Only (521 words)

(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

Los Angeles Times
It is a story of motherhood and disjunction, of self-making and villainy, of a remarkable power depicted and deployed on an intimate scale ... The novel is a page-turning exploration of the intergenerational trauma of this very specific family with its unique gift, and the ways each new generation tries to heal itself ... One of California's most anticipated books of the summer.

NPR
A time-travel story that feels shatteringly real ... It's both gripping and moving, and promises at least one burst of cathartic tears.

Bustle
Spanning decades and tracking the evolution of, and recovery from, intergenerational trauma, Time's Mouth is a dreamy, heartfelt tearjerker.

Elle
An Edan Lepucki novel—any Edan Lepucki novel—is a treat. But this one involves a Californian woman who can time-travel through her own memories ... I was sold on 'time-travel,' how about you?

Literary Hub
For fans of Matrix and The Girls, Time's Mouth is a mesmerizing and confident novel about power, desire, and the depths of our bonds.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Lepucki's latest novel is, in a word, a trip...This emotionally intense, wildly imaginative novel is both down-to-earth and out-to-lunch. One of a kind.

Library Journal
Those who enjoy reading about California counterculture and cults may be intrigued.

Publishers Weekly
Extensive asides on Wilhelm Reich's orgone theories and his energy accumulator are bizarre and distracting, though Lepucki deploys plenty of evocative similes (for Ray, guilt feels like "a coat of paint covering his body, drying him into a kind of cast"). Thanks to Lepucki's fine prose, this intrigues more than it frustrates.

Reader Reviews

Gloria M

Must Read!
This is the third published work of fiction by Edan Lepucki and it is my favorite! It pulls you in from the first page as the "mouth of time" explains, "I'm not time, but I hold it." We are then introduced to Sharon, abused by her now deceased father...   Read More
krunal

A Journey into Time's Mouth: A Mesmerizing Tale by Edan Lepucki
The brilliant Edan Lepucki's latest book, Time's Mouth, is a captivating journey that takes readers on an exhilarating adventure through time and space. This book offers readers a spellbinding experience with its masterful storytelling, endearing ...   Read More
prem singh yadav

Time's Mouth A Novel
"Times Mouth" shaped by Aidan Lepucci is a charming assessment of memory, family bonds and the appalling consequences of a captivating gift. Legend Ursa has the essential capacity to rise above her recollections, which drives her out traveling from ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book



Wilhelm Reich and the Orgone Energy Accumulator

Orgone Energy AccumulatorIn Edan Lepucki's novel Time's Mouth, one of the time travelers enhances their power using an obscure invention by a Viennese psychologist, Wilhelm Reich.

Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) was born in what is now Ukraine to Jewish parents, both of whom died when Reich was a child. After enlisting in the Austrian army during World War I, he entered medical school in Vienna. While there, he became a student and close friend of Sigmund Freud and worked in Freud's clinical practice as an assistant. He joined the Vienna Psychoanalytic Association in 1920 and earned his medical degree in 1922. He opened his own clinical practice at that point, specializing in sexual counseling. In 1930, he moved his work to Berlin.

At the start of his career, Reich...

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Read-Alikes

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