Title: Bid Time Return
Author: Richard Matheson
What it's about: Dying screenwriter Richard Collier is spending the last days of his life trying to write a book. He travels without direction, letting a coin flip determine where he goes. Richard ends up in the Hotel del Coronado, a place with a long history, and there he sees the photograph that will change his life. Elise McKenna, a famous actress, performed at the Hotel del Coronado in 1896, and a photograph taken of her then remains on display. Richard sees it and falls in love with the woman. Though he knows that it's an impossible love, he immediately begins to research Elise, and soon decides that he will do anything, even circumvent time itself, to be with her. Richard's attempts at time travel eventually succeed, and he meets Elise. But can true love really win out against the relentless flow of time and history?
What I thought: The whole book has the quality of a dream. From the clipped narration style at the beginning to the luxurious descriptions of the world of 1896, there's something not quite real about the whole story. However, the dictation style of the story does give it an immediacy and passion that draw you in. This is a wonderful love story that just pulls you along, and my only complaint would be that the ending is a bit... abrupt and less dramatic than I would have liked. But it works, and the whole book works, and if you liked The Time Traveler's Wife, you'll like this one.
Overall: Lovely story.