Review: Time and Regret (+ Excerpt + Giveaway)

Posted 1 September, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 7 Comments

Time and Regret
By: M.K. Tod
Format/Source: Paperback courtesy of the author as part of the Time and Regret France Book Tours

When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his past—and to long-buried family secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determined to solve her grandfather’s puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French man—and suddenly aware that someone is following her…

Through her grandfather’s vivid writing and Grace’s own travels, a picture emerges of a man very unlike the one who raised her: one who watched countless friends and loved ones die horrifically in battle; one who lived a life of regret. But her grandfather wasn’t the only one harboring secrets, and the more Grace learns about her family, the less she thinks she can trust them.

Exciting, a new novel from M.K. Tod! I read her first two books (see author tag) as part of book blog tours in the past so naturally I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel and take part in this wonderful blog tour today. The premise of this novel is a bit different from her previous two, which particularly piqued my interest. This book was released on 16 August 2016. Included in this post are an excerpt from the book and details on how to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book!

Thank you to France Book Tours for letting me take part in the book tour for this novel.


“I left for France on the fourteenth of June, the day the space shuttle Columbia landed back on earth with three female astronauts on board—a positive omen for my trip, I thought. The flight was smooth, and after clearing customs and retrieving my bags, I drove northwest in a rented Renault from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Le Havre at the mouth of the Seine where my grandfather’s ship had docked after crossing the channel. Honfleur followed Le Havre and then Hazebrouck, a stopover en route to his first trench deployment. From there, I drove farther north and stayed at a comfortable hotel in Ypres, a Belgian town that was the base for more than one epic battle during World War I.

After two days spent exploring Ypres and Passchendaele, places where unbelievable carnage took place, I drove to Bailleul, a town perched on a sweeping rise of land. By ten a.m., the heat had gathered, wispy clouds marking the horizon, crows squawking from a nearby tree. My trip to France was supposed to be a vacation, and six days of introspection amid the remnants of war had left me feeling morose, so I was taking a tour that morning with others for company.

The tourist office was in the central square. And that was where I saw him, the man with the straw fedora, a man I had first noticed on the ferry to Honfleur, when he’d taken a picture and then leaned agains the railing as the boat gathered speed. I was almost positive the same man, minus the fedora, had also been in Hazebrouck, where I visited a replica of a casualty clearing station. A cold prickle crawled up my back.”


Wow, this book was quite the puzzle as readers follow Grace who in turn is following her grandfather’s footsteps and experiences across France during World War One. Martin’s experiences during the war is brought to life in these pages, in part through the terse diary entries that Grace is reading, as well as the alternative chapters throughout the book from his perspective. A lot of different issues were touched on over the course of reading his story, from the experiences of trench warfare and losing comrades to the experience of shell shock and what the recuperation period is like both in hospitals and after the war with settling back into civilian life. It was also interesting to read Martin back then and contrast it to how Grace remembered her grandfather, not to mention her grandmother then and now.

In the “present” storyline, there’s a thriller element running through as Grace finds herself being followed whilst trying to figure out her grandfather’s cryptic message and why he left his diaries with her. It kept me glued to the book, coinciding with Grace’s character journey. She’s a woman who finds herself at a crossroads following a divorce and finds herself not only immersed in French culture but also reevaluating her life, what she wants, and finding love along the way. I liked the characters and really enjoyed following Grace’s story. The title of course ties in more closely with Martin’s and Cynthia’s story and their own regrets, less so on Grace’s part but these elements are ever-present in the story and the way that the different generations interacted with each other.

Oh, and not to be terribly spoiler or anything but

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

I don’t know what else to say about this novel except that I greatly enjoyed reading Time and Regret. It has a nice balance of the historical fiction and present day mystery and story that come together quite nicely. Highly recommended!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Order this book from the Book Depository || Amazon

Time and Regret is M.K. Tod’s third novel. She began writing in 2005 while living as an expat in Hong Kong. What started as an interest in her grandparents’ lives turned into a full-time occupation writing historical fiction. Her novel Unravelled was awarded Indie Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society. In addition to writing historical novels, she blogs about reading and writing historical fiction at, reviews books for the Historical Novel Society and the Washington Independent Review of Books, and has conducted three highly respected reader surveys. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and is the mother of two adult children.

official website / blog / @ Facebook / @ Twitter / @ GoodReads

Now that you’ve read my review of the novel, here’s the giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of the book! Please fill out the following Rafflecopter below to enter; this contest is open internationally. Five (5) winners will be drawn and contacted the following day; you will have 24 hours to claim your prize so please use a valid email address. Bonne chance!!!

Many thanks again to France Book Tours for hosting this book and for letting me read this book as part of the tour.

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7 Responses to “Review: Time and Regret (+ Excerpt + Giveaway)”

    • It is, no stone was unturned during this period (I’m currently reading a nonfiction title about the period leading up to World War One and indeed there was just so much going on politically, socially, economically, culturally).

  1. wow, thanks for your lovely review, starting the tour with a bang! Thanks for underlying the richness of all the layers. I really enjoyed it myself, so as I read it, I opened your spoiler, and I agree here too 😉
    I like the renewed look of your site, nice and clear, beautiful. Emma at FBT

    • Thanks for hosting this wonderful book tour again, Emma! This was definitely one of my favourite books read this summer 🙂

      And thanks also for the kind words about my blog layout! 🙂

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