Back to Her Future

The Gen X Series

Fiction - Womens
324 Pages
Reviewed on 06/06/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Back to Her Future is a work of fiction in the women’s fiction, interpersonal drama, and slice-of-life subgenres, and is part of the Gen X series penned by author Cary J Hansson. The plot follows Meryem, abducted from England to Turkey as a teenager and now, thirty years later, liberated and affluent in Dubai. Her father's confession sends her back to London, where she reunites with childhood friends Alma and Sammy for an impromptu 80s weekend, triggering memories of her abduction and straining their bond. Through a blend of history, everyday life, and tragedy, Hansson crafts an unforgettable narrative exploring friendship, resilience, and self-discovery in the face of trauma.

Author Cary J Hansson puts heart and soul into crafting an immersive and highly emotional novel, navigating Meryem's journey from victim to empowered survivor. Meryem's mantra of looking out for herself is an interesting double-edged sword, showing both strength and vulnerabilities as she tries to protect herself from the world, but also be part of it. The author balances this incredibly well in the narrative, and the interplay between past trauma and present-day struggles is poignant as a result, highlighting the complexities of healing and rebuilding relationships. Hansson's writing skillfully weaves together nostalgia, emotional depth, and suspense with fluidity and confidence, keeping readers engaged until the final page with never a dull moment in the storyline. The novel delivers a powerful thematic punch on the importance of friendship and the hidden resilience we find amidst adversity, which is a deeply worthy message to take away. Overall, I would certainly recommend Back to Her Future for fans of poignant women’s drama.

Ruffina Oserio

Back to Her Future by Cary J Hansson is a compelling and emotionally resonant novel that explores friendship and one woman’s relentless quest for the truth. Set against the backdrop of London and Dubai, Hansson weaves a captivating narrative that follows the journey of Meryem, a woman who, after decades of living life on her terms, is confronted with the haunting secrets of her past. The story begins with Meryem, a divorced and wealthy woman working in Dubai, receiving a whispered confession from her dying father. This revelation sets her on a path to uncover the truth about her abduction as a teenager from England to Turkey. As she returns to London and reunites with her childhood friends, Alma and Sammy, the bonds of their friendship are tested as long-buried memories and shocking revelations come to light.

Hansson's writing is beautifully and boldly crafted. The author weaves history, everyday circumstances, and achingly tragic moments into an unforgettable narrative. Through Meryem's journey of self-discovery and reconciliation with her past, the author explores complex themes of identity, forgiveness, and the power of friendship. The characters are intriguing. Meryem emerges as a scarred yet resilient heroine, determined to confront the ghosts of her past and find closure. Alma and Sammy, once close friends, struggle to reconnect with Meryem as they navigate the emotional landscapes of her abduction and its aftermath. Back to Her Future is the compelling first novel in the Gen X women's contemporary fiction series. With its compelling storytelling and emotionally rich moments, this novel will surely resonate with readers who appreciate deeply moving stories. Cary J Hansson has crafted a poignant and unforgettable tale that will delight readers with diverse tastes.

Priya Mathew

Back to Her Future by Cary J Hansson is a heartwarming story that could have been the story of any of the women in my life. The narrative encapsulates the lives of three women, Maryam, Alma, and Sammy, who are bound by their shared childhood but shaped by dramatically different futures. Maryam, a top student in her class in London, was abducted by her father, who forced her into a marriage at a young age. On his deathbed, he asks his children for their forgiveness and confesses that their mother had never abandoned them as they were led to believe but had written numerous letters which were returned unread by him. This revelation makes Maryam travel back to London to find answers. Reconnecting with her childhood friends Alma and Sammy and traveling with them for an 80s nostalgic weekend, Maryam is forced to face painful memories. Alma carries her own burdens; haunted by the loss of her childhood friend, she also bore witness to the aftermath of Maryam’s disappearance. Meanwhile, Sammy is struggling with cancer recovery and dealing with body insecurities. During the weekend, over painful conversations and shocking revelations, they rediscover themselves. Will they find peace in their stories or be forever ridden by guilt for the sins that were not of their making?

Cary J Hansson has written a compelling and evocative narrative in Back to Her Future, interweaving the past and present lives of three women - Maryam, Alma, and Sammy - with the voice of the past conveyed by letters from Sonja, Maryam’s mother. I was hooked at the beginning of this story, when Maryam confronts her brother with anger and bitterness, feeling betrayed by her father’s actions and frustrated by her brother Emim’s inability to understand her pain and experiences because his outlook in life was different as a man. She felt imprisoned, while Emim perceives his upbringing differently, leading to a disconnect in their understanding of the past. Cary has taken time with the characters, giving each one a backstory and offering multiple perspectives so the reader can get a clear understanding of their struggles and motivations. I was able to relate to this story also because of how Cary has made the characters handle their past traumas sensitively and honestly. Back to Her Future is a powerful story of healing and self-discovery, but it also explores the impact of childhood trauma and the struggle for forgiveness, making it a compelling read that resonates on many levels.