Verdict: THE JOURNEY is a heartwarming and well-written story that offers a thoughtful and tender look at the question "if I knew then what I know now, what would be different?"
A woman gets accidentally sent back in time, and tries to help her younger self find a better future.
Michelle “Shelly” Preston Richardson is recently widowed and unsure of herself, having lived the past thirty years in her husband’s shadow, doing what was expected of her rather than following her dreams. She decides to attend her high school reunion, and is having a good time when she is accidentally sent back in time to her own high school senior year. She gets a job at her high school, and quickly becomes a loved mentor to a number of students, including her own younger self. But can she stop her younger self from making the mistakes she once made, and find a new life of her own to boot?
This is a warmly sweet look at both adolescence and middle age, and the regrets found and life lessons gained at both ages. Michelle is a kind and warmhearted person, easy to love, and her efforts to steer young Shelly and her friends in a better direction are tactfully and carefully done. No worries here about “messing up the timeline” or any such paradox – she’s willing to do what she knows is right regardless of fears and doubts. It’s also good to see younger Shelly develop her confidence and to discover that the need to have a boyfriend is less important than the need to be with the right boyfriend (and, thankfully, the right boyfriend eventually wins).
The ending is a bit startling, but the epilogue provides a comforting resolution that helps to balance it out. Michelle’s ability to get a job at a public school with a Social Security number belonging to her younger self and no educational transcripts strains belief somewhat, as does the fact that her fiancée, having found out that she has lied about who she is, is willing to marry her anyway without being told the truth.
THE JOURNEY is a heartwarming and well-written story that offers a thoughtful and tender look at the question “if I knew then what I know now, what would be different?”
Reviewed by Catherine Langrerh for IndieReader