Timeless – Rachel Spangler

TimelessStevie Gallaher has created a safe world for herself based around her New York life and her apartment. She doesn’t do conflict and she doesn’t put herself out there.  She hides in the bubble she has created and writes novels about the world she observes. 

When her publicist and manager, Edmond, forces her to choose between visiting her old school to accept an award or speaking at a fundraising dinner she resentfully returns to Darlington as the lesser of two evils. More than the little overwhelmed by meeting the teacher who was her first crush and the thought of exposure at her old high school she forgets to eat and collapses on stage.

Now, rather than hiding in the shadows, Stevie must confront her past and decide who she wants to be in the future.


“Timeless” is unusual. On the one hand it is a sweet romantic tale of girl going home to find that thing she didn’t know she wanted was there all the time. But it is much more than a simple romance and the twist in the plot will surprise you.

Like Spangler’s earlier novel set in Darlington, ”The Long Way Home”, this is partly a tale about how small town America and high school experiences shape our lives, those of us who have run away to escape and those who choose, instead, to stand and fight. It is also a story about how good people give up their own dreams to protect others who are different in one way or another.

This story should make us stop and think; cause us to reassess our own behavior as teenagers who kept silent or perhaps even those who were guilty of bullying. It should also make us look at our own life choices as the adults we’ve become and reconsider whether we could be doing more to protect those more vulnerable than ourselves.

Ms Spangler’s characters are deep and multidimensional. Here we get a unique opportunity to see how they develop. From student teacher Jody, trying to find her way, and Stevie, the closeted and scared intellectual who can’t wait to escape, to the wonderfully drawn ‘other’ Kelsey Patel, we see inside their hopes and fears. We are shown how popularity can lead to abuse of power while obscurity can bury us under fear and despair.

Rachel Spangler bioMore than anything “Timeless” made me think about the choices we have made and the people we’ve become. This is a story about how much of our teenage decision-making has impacted our lives – forced us away from being everything we could have been. It is an exploration of how bullying can make us live our lives in fear – those bullied and those who stand by and do nothing.

There are lessons here. Not least is that time is finite and that we need to make the most of it. As the adorable Beth reminds us when asked what she would change if she could ‘do it over’: “I’d live every minute in present tense instead of always planning for some future I had no guarantee of.”

I love books that make me think and stories that make me feel. This one does both. I really enjoyed Ms Spangler’s earlier novels, particularly “The Long Way Home”, but “Timeless” is at a different level. Rachel Spangler goes from strength to strength and I look forward to following her growing talent.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626390509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626390508
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