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Author Picks: 6 Epic Love Stories, Twisted by Time

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Madeleine Henry is the author of two novels, The Love Proof and Breathe In, Cash Out. Previously, she worked at Goldman Sachs and in investment management after graduating from Yale in 2014. She shares more about her life on @MadeleineHenryYoga.

“How will I know if he really loves me?” Whitney Houston asks over and over again in her classic song. It’s an enduring question, as perplexing today as it was back when she first sang it in 1985. How do you know when love is real? In fiction, one answer has to do with time. When time is twisted—no longer flowing at the same rate for both people, for example—and the love in a couple endures, then you know it’s real, because it’s no longer rooted in anything material. The connection doesn’t depend on transient youth, looks, or success. It’s clearly a love of someone’s permanent essence, in all circumstances. So, playing with time is a way to demonstrate true love.

My new novel, The Love Proof, is a time-bending romance. Below are six more of my favorites, all of them enhanced by tinkering with time:

The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

How does love unfold between two people when one travels uncontrollably through time? Henry and Clare live out the answer in this mesmerizing story. There is nothing more romantic than witnessing Henry’s visits to Clare at every age, because it shows their love has transcended the physical.

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The Time Traveler's Wife
Audrey Niffenegger

Is time a parabola? If you asked the couple at the heart of this remarkable story, Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course, they'd probably both say yes. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

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MENTIONED IN:

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How to Stop Time
by Matt Haig

What does love mean to you when your life is 15 times as long? Tom Hazard is forced to find out the answer to that question, as someone living with anageria—a condition where he ages more slowly than everyone else. He intends to float through life with cool detachment—but, of course, that doesn’t go as planned.

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How to Stop Time
Matt Haig

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Courtroom Stories with Complicated Outcomes

By Sarah Woodruff | November 24, 2021

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By Sarah Walsh | November 23, 2021

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6 Intriguing Novels About Lesser-Known Historical Figures and Events

By Chris Gaudio | November 19, 2021

Staff Picks: 5 Books We’re Extra Thankful For This Year

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In Five Years
by Rebecca Serle

Perfect lawyer Dannie has it all until, on the night of her engagement, she glimpses herself five years in the future and engaged to a different man. Back in the present, her life gets complicated when she meets the man from her vision. If you think you know what’s going to happen next, think again. This book will surprise you.

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In Five Years
Rebecca Serle

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A Good Morning America, FabFitFun, and Marie Claire Book Club Pick

In Five Years is as clever as it is moving, the rare read-in-one-sitting novel you won’t forget.” —Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists

Perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day—a striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers.

She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content.

But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Outlander
by Diana Gabaldon

In one moment, Claire Randall is blissfully with her husband in 1945. In the next, she finds herself mysteriously 200 years in the past in the Highlands of Scotland. Here, she must wed a stranger—the lovable Jamie—for her own safety. Eventually, she must choose in which time she belongs.

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Outlander
Diana Gabaldon

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Courtroom Stories with Complicated Outcomes

By Sarah Woodruff | November 24, 2021

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By Sarah Walsh | November 23, 2021

6 Book Club Novels Where Past and Present Collide

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6 Intriguing Novels About Lesser-Known Historical Figures and Events

By Chris Gaudio | November 19, 2021

Staff Picks: 5 Books We’re Extra Thankful For This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 18, 2021

Writers on Writing: 8 Author Memoirs and Nonfiction Essentials

By Holly Claytor | November 17, 2021

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In a Holidaze
by Christina Lauren

After a disappointing Christmas and a lackluster year, Maelyn Jones asks the universe to show her what will make her happy. Her life pivots suddenly in a version of Groundhog Day, Christmas-style, giving her a unique opportunity to pursue the one she wants. This lighthearted book is an uplifting holiday fantasy.

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In a Holidaze
Christina Lauren

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

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MENTIONED IN:

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My Name is Memory
by Ann Brashares

Is there any love more soulful than one that spans lifetimes? This is the case for Daniel and Sophia, who are continually reborn in various historical eras. At first, only Daniel remembers their past identities and can recognize Sophia in each new form. This may be the most devoted love I’ve found in fiction.

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My Name is Memory
Ann Brashares

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Courtroom Stories with Complicated Outcomes

By Sarah Woodruff | November 24, 2021

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By Sarah Walsh | November 23, 2021

6 Book Club Novels Where Past and Present Collide

By Holly Claytor | November 22, 2021

6 Intriguing Novels About Lesser-Known Historical Figures and Events

By Chris Gaudio | November 19, 2021

Staff Picks: 5 Books We’re Extra Thankful For This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 18, 2021

Writers on Writing: 8 Author Memoirs and Nonfiction Essentials

By Holly Claytor | November 17, 2021

Close
The Love Proof
by Madeleine Henry

For another epic love story, Off the Shelf recommends THE LOVE PROOF, a unique love story about lasting connection, time, and intuition.

Sophie Jones is a physics prodigy on track to unlock the secrets of the universe. But when she meets Jake Kristopher during their first week at Yale they instantly feel a deep connection, as if they’ve known each other before. Quickly, they become a couple. Slowly, their love lures Sophie away from school. When a shocking development forces Sophie into a new reality, she returns to physics to make sense of her world. 

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The Love Proof
Madeleine Henry

“Henry has done a masterful job…This book is academic and heartfelt and tender and loving. It is worth every minute spent reading it.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A brilliant physicist studying the nature of time embarks on a journey to prove that those we love are always connected to us, leading to surprising revelations in this fresh and unique love story.

Sophie Jones is a physics prodigy on track to unlock the secrets of the universe. But when she meets Jake Kristopher during their first week at Yale they instantly feel a deep connection, as if they’ve known each other before. Quickly, they become a couple. Slowly, their love lures Sophie away from school.

When a shocking development forces Sophie into a new reality, she returns to physics to make sense of her world. She grapples with life’s big questions, including how to cope with unexpected change and loss. Inspired by her connection with Jake, Sophie throws herself into her studies, determined to prove that true loves belong together in all realities.

Spanning decades, The Love Proof is an unusual love story about lasting connection, time, and intuition. It explores the course that perfect love can take between imperfect people, and urges us to listen to our hearts rather than our heads.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

8 Courtroom Stories with Complicated Outcomes

By Sarah Woodruff | November 24, 2021

6 Books You Should Read Sooner Rather Than Later

By Sarah Walsh | November 23, 2021

6 Book Club Novels Where Past and Present Collide

By Holly Claytor | November 22, 2021

6 Intriguing Novels About Lesser-Known Historical Figures and Events

By Chris Gaudio | November 19, 2021

Staff Picks: 5 Books We’re Extra Thankful For This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 18, 2021

Writers on Writing: 8 Author Memoirs and Nonfiction Essentials

By Holly Claytor | November 17, 2021

Close

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