Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s breathtaking new book, Midnight on the Marne, explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices. If you’re someone who loves a good time travel story, then read below to see Sarah’s Top 5 Alternative Timeline/Time Travel Books, Movies, and TV Series!
By Sarah Adlakha:
Who hasn’t thought at one time or another in life, what if? What if I could jump back in time and have a redo of something I messed up? What if I could hop forward and see what the future holds? What if I had never gone down this road or that one? These are the questions that led me to write my time-hopping debut novel She Wouldn’t Change a Thing as well as my newly released alternative timeline novel Midnight on the Marne. And this question is certainly not unique to me. In fact, this theme is so prevalent that it has found its way into a host of books, movies, and TV series. And – you guessed it – I have my favorites.
1. Kindred by Octavia Butler
Let’s start with my absolute favorite time-hopping book. I didn’t read Kindred until after my debut novel had been published, and I’m still not quite sure how it slipped under my radar for so long. I love the themes explored by Octavia Butler, especially in regard to the main character’s emotional turmoil when she is faced with a moral quandary concerning a very immoral man. If you haven’t read the novel, it’s about a Black woman who intermittently travels back from modern day America to slavery days and is – herself – forced to endure what her ancestors endured during that time. It should be required reading in my opinion.
Moving on to TV, Lost was an ABC original that I binge-watched on Netflix shortly before starting my writing career. Admittedly, some of it went over my head, but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment and strangely enough made it even more enthralling. Is that possible? To enjoy something you maybe don’t fully understand? This show is more layered than a North Carolina Thirteen Layer Cake, which – for me – only added to the enjoyment. On the surface, it’s the story of the survivors of a plane crash on a deserted island, but…but…I don’t even know how to describe it. Just watch it.
3. The Man in the High Castle
Another TV series, this time from Amazon Prime, that sucked me in was adapted (loosely) from Philip Dick’s 1962 novel of the same name. It’s set in 1950s America, but instead of a post WWII era where the allies had been victorious, this America is split up and ruled by the new victors of the war – Japan and Germany. It’s a fascinating study of what might have happened had the war ended differently and was an inspiration for me when I wrote Midnight on the Marne which has the Germans winning the First World War.
4. Peggy Sue Got Married
I watched this movie as a kid so many times I can still quote it almost verbatim. Of my top five, it’s probably the most humorous and fun, although it does dip into some deeper themes. Peggy Sue is a middle-aged woman whose husband (her high school sweetheart) is having an affair and whose life is not exactly what she expected, when she wakes up surrounded by her friends in her high school gymnasium as her teenage self. If you’ve read my debut She Wouldn’t Change a Thing, I’m sure you can appreciate the influence this movie had on me.
5. Edge of Tomorrow
Another movie to make my top 5 is the 2014 Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt hit, Edge of Tomorrow. It’s a bit more sci-fi in its overall theme than my other choices, with otherworldly creatures (machines) that are trying to destroy humanity, but the basic premise is that the main character awakens each morning to relive the exact same day. It’s sort of like Groundhog Day on steroids, and there were some comical moments in an otherwise action-packed movie as the main character navigated his way through the same day a seemingly infinite number of times.
There’s no question that some of these books and movies and shows had an influence on my writing, and if you’ve ever considered yourself a fan of time travel or alternative history stories, I hope you’ll check them out before picking up a copy of my latest release Midnight on the Marne.
Click below to order your copy of Midnight on the Marne, available now!
Thoughts on Jack McDevitt’s “Time Travelers Never Die”?
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