Book Review

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

Genre | Science Fiction
Page #s | 336
Publishing Date | August 2018

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travelintroduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.


Books about time travel often make my head hurt when they try too hard to explain paradoxes and the limitations of their particular science (give me a Doctor Who shrug at the science any day). Luckily, there were very few instances in which The Psychology of Time Travel did this to me; instead, as the title suggests, this book is far more concerned with how time travel would affect people’s lives, personalities, and relationships.

The book is told from multiple points of view and from multiple points in time as we slowly put together the pieces of, essentially, a murder mystery. This means it will likely take you awhile to fully sink into the story, as it takes time to care about all of the characters and realize how they interconnect. Once some of those “Oh! She’s that character’s mother!” moments happen, I was hooked and couldn’t stop.

Undoubtedly the best part of this book is that it is 95% female characters. The people who invented time travel? Four women. The detectives, love interests, and professionals that we meet? Women! There are maybe two men in the whole book that I can think of, and they are given lovely little side roles as the husbands of powerful and interesting women. I live!

Who Do I Recommend This Book To?

If you like time travel and favor a book that offers a wide array of complex characters to meet and care for (or not), The Psychology of Time Travel is for you!

Check out our Queer Lil Library for more book recommendations and reviews!

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