Books & Writers

“Time and Again” by Kyeli Smith and Ellie Di Julio – A Review

On Friday I picked up a presale copy of Time and Again by Kyeli Smith and Ellie Di Julio. Having read Ellie’s last book, INKCHANGER, I couldn’t wait to see what the pair had come up with this time.

“You must go back to the beginning to find the end.”

 Everything is perfect the day Saffron Clovers finds out she’s pregnant. Now she and her husband, Nate, can have the family they’ve longed for. But after a series of tragic losses and intensive heartache, their marriage crumbles. Saffron finds herself completely bereft. No children, no husband, no home.

  Yet, there’s hope. A strangely familiar woman on a foreign beach prophecies that Saffron will have the daughter she’s always dreamed of. But how? To find out, Saffron sets off on a cross-country journey back to her childhood home to complete the circle and begin a new story. She’s not sure what she’ll find there; all she knows is that it’s time to go.

Time & Again is a modern fairytale about a woman on a quest to discover who she is – past, present, and future – guided by magic and the yearning of her heart.

Time and Again cover - Kyeli Smith and Ellie Di Julio

Time and Again” is the story of a woman who loses herself in other people’s wishes, and is almost forced to find herself again. She and her husband are trying for a baby, and when complications arise, she ends up driving across the country to try and make sense of where she came from.

It’s the kind of story that reminds me of autobiographies that tell each reader something different about themselves. For me, it became a story about strength in the face of adversity, and that hope always lies around the corner. It’s a story about loss and love, about rebirth and magic.

Up to me.

How long has it been since that was true? That anything is really and truly up to me? Until I left for college, my parents made all my choices or I was punished. In school, it was follow the path or you’re a failure. Married to Nate, I thought I’d broken the pattern, but in the end, I did what he wanted without taking my own desires into account. Even leaving wasn’t my idea. Look where it took me.”

Even though I had a fair idea about what the book was about before reading it, I was surprised at the twists and turns it took. Even though I’ve never been in the position of the character, she was described so well that I grieved with her, and laughed at the joy in her life. I was completely taken up into the story. Kyeli & Ellie wrote Saffron’s story so that the reader could experience her devastation, irrespective of our own experiences. As a reader, I wasn’t watching her heart break, I was feeling it.

It’s important to note that due to the nature of the theme of losing a child, I cried more than I laughed. I almost can’t say I “enjoyed” the book, because it had me weeping most of the way through. But it’s the kind of emotional book that everyone could get something out of, and I’m already recommending it to people. It took me on a journey that I needed to go on, and took me there while holding my hand.

This is not necessarily a book to read in the park on your lunch break, but I devoured it in three hours on a Friday night and a box of tissues. It’s a well-written, heart-wrenching and deeply-felt story about a woman who wants to have a daughter, and finds her way by returning to when she was a child.

Five stars.

And now it can be all yours, in print or ebook edition:

Buy it at

Buy it at

About The Authors

time and again kyeli-by-the-river-800Kyeli Smith is an idealistic storyteller, walking the edge and forging her own path. She is disabled, vegan, fat, a lesbian, an HSP, and divinely human. She sings in the shower, wears fantastic stripy socks, and believes in faeries. She lives in Portland and loves it like woah. You can find her microfiction at, her photography at, her podcast at, and just her on Twitter.

time and again 201306 Headshot

Ellie Di Julio is a nomadic writer currently living in Hamilton, Ontario with her Robert Downey, Jr. lookalike husband and their two cats. Between nerd activities like playing Dungeons & Dragons or watching Top Gear, she enthusiastically destroys the kitchen and persistently tries to figure out what it’s all about, when you really get down to it. You can find her writing on, her podcast on, and just her on Twitter and Facebook.

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