Title: Defining Moments by Faye Hicks
Genre: Fiction, Time Travel, Paranormal, Romance
Length: ~96,000 words/~236 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Author
Defining Moments is a novel about the decisions we make at life’s crossroads, and what it might be like to have the ability to go back in time and change those decisions that lead to tragedy. Spanning the period from 1966 to the present, this is the story of Ellie Ward, a woman who can do just that. At nine years of age, Ellie accidentally discovers a time portal near her childhood home, one that opens to her whenever she is faced with extreme trauma and emotion. Passing through the portal takes Ellie back in time to the key decision points that precipitate her life’s tragedies, thus enabling her to avert each disaster. Unfortunately, she never has any idea what the specific ‘defining moments’ were, and so she never knows how much of her life she is going to have to repeat in order to undo a bad situation.
Defining Moments opens in the present when Ellie, “on the wrong side of both 50 and 150 pounds”, is a professor and scientist studying river ice floods in northern Canada. Ellie heads out with three other people in a tiny, single engine plane to scout for ice jams and her decision not to insist that they turn back before they venture too far from town becomes another defining moment in her life when their engine fails and they crash land in the bush. As the only able-bodied survivor, Ellie’s graduate student, Brenda, must take on the burden of keeping the others safe as they wait for help to arrive. Fearing that Brenda will crumble under the emotional strain, Ellie shares her personal journal as a diversion. As the hours of waiting turn into days, Brenda immerses herself in Ellie’s autobiography and we join with her in reading of Ellie’s multiple lives, loves, passions and losses. Brenda is astonished to read that her professor has managed to go back in time and reverse those bad decisions that resulted in tragic outcomes. Is this actually possible, or is Ellie’s journal just a work of fiction? And if it is possible, and Ellie has found a way to rewind the clock to each defining moment in her life, will she live to get the chance to do it this time?
What if we could go back and change the decisions that did not turn out the way we imagined? In Defining Moments debut author Faye Hicks provides lead character Ellie Ward the ability and opportunity to do just that. Ellie has discovered a portal that takes her back in time to the crucial moments in her life when she made the wrong choices. Will her altered life path protect her from tragedy? Will it guarantee her a happy and “perfect” life? The answers to these questions might just surprise you.
Without clearly understanding how she did it, Ellie Ward changes the outcome of a childhood altercation. It is not until she is an adult that she fully grasps exactly how she changed that particular event. When tragedy strikes later in her life, Ellie makes use of the portal to transport herself back in time to the exact moment that determined her future.
With her memory intact, Ellie utilizes her knowledge to change her decision and make the most of her new future. Carefully weighing her options, Ellie chooses a new direction and begins to pursue her new goals. But when this new life also culminates in a horrible and untenable situation, she once again goes back to the defining moment that set this particular chain of events in motion.
Older, wiser, and still retaining all her memories, Ellie puts a great deal of thought and consideration what she wants for her life. She proceeds with her education, inching ever closer to her aspirations. She is more patient and cautious with the men she lets into her life this time around and she finally meets the perfect man. With her career and love life now in harmony, Ellie finally has the ideal life. Or does she?
Defining Moments is an intriguing and thought-provoking novel. What exactly are the defining moments that should be changed? Will changing them guarantee a perfect and trouble free future? Or will it bring even more unbearable grief? If we had the ability to do over certain situations how many opportunities should we be allowed to take? Should we continue to seek perfection? Or should we just accept what life has handed us and make the best of it that we can?
Defining Moments by Faye Hicks is a compelling story with a unique plot. It is full of unanticipated twists and turns and the ending is quite unexpected. A clever and imaginative novel that will appeal to anyone who has ever longed for a do over in their own life.