#BookReview: If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison

Reviewer: Terry

I received a review copy

If I Could Turn Back TimeSummary:

Told with Beth Harbison’s wit and warmth, If I Could Turn Back Time is the fantasy of every woman who has ever thought, “If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I’d do things so differently…”

Thirty-seven year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous, and she enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But despite it all, she can’t ignore the fact that she isn’t necessarily happy. In fact, lately Ramie has begun to feel more than a little empty.

On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives off…

Suddenly Ramie is waking up, straining to understand a voice calling in the distance…It’s her mother: “Wake up! You’re going to be late for school again. I’m not writing a note this time…”

Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she’s lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she’ll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?


Everyone spends a little time in their adult life wondering the what ifs, if only’s and how they would do things differently if they went back in time with the knowledge of their future self. It never happens, but we all wonder. Ramie appears to get just that chance, finding herself mysteriously 20 years in her past, but with all the memories and experiences of her 38 year old self. Once the initial shock of finding herself strangely back in her 18 year old body, she jumps into the experience with all her being, realizing regardless of how she got there, she was being giving a chance of her lifetime.

I find myself as I read this book quickly coming up on my own 38th (or my 3rd 18th) birthday and reminiscing along with Ramie and her trip down memory lane to a simpler time in life, a carefree time and what I would do if I was back in time during my almost 18th birthday. A time when so much changed often in the blink of an eye. But also a time of great joy, easy happiness and many fond memories. As long Ramie one rarely makes it to their late 30’s without fondly wishing for the carefree youthful days of our past.

This was a treasure of a story for me to stumble upon at just the right time in my life. On occasion I am lucky enough to review a story that works out as a gift. This book is one of those sweet gifts and one I will treasure long after the story fades.

4.5 stars

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