Love is imperfect, often painful, sometimes tragic. That is what I learned later in life. When I read Bid Time Return (written by Richard Matheson) as a teenager I was transported by the notion even understanding this was fiction, that one look could tell you a person was your soul mate, or your lost "other", and that doing everything possible to be with that person, no matter the cost, was worth even a shortened lifetime. Wrapped in the convention of time travel, this story of wish fulfillment, of finding the only person who could make you feel whole, is probably the most beautiful love story I have ever read (I dare give no more detail about the the story so you may discover it for yourself). The fact that its plot device is wildly improbable only makes the very human story of Richard Collier and Elise McKenna that much more rich. The story is so well-devised and written that it reads like an actual autobiography, with foreward and afterward, making the previous "improbable" I mentioned, a breathtaking reality.
There are reviewers and readers who have called this story tragic. It is not, in my view. We need dreams. We need romance and love and even more importantly, the possibility of love, to make life bearable. I hope generations of readers continue to discover the novel and set their imaginations free.