What Time is Love? by Holly Williams


1947. 1967. 1987.
When Violet and Albert first meet, they are always twenty.

Three decades.

Over the years, Violet and Albert’s lives collide again and again: beneath Oxford’s spires, on the rolling hills around Abergavenny, in stately homes and in feminist squats. And as each decade ends, a new love story begins…

Two people.

Together, they are electric and the world is glittering with possibility. But against the shifting times of each era, Violet and Albert must overcome differences in class, gender, privilege and ambition. Each time their lives entwine, it will change everything.

One moment is all it takes…

As their eyes first meet, for a split-second it’s as if the clocks have stopped. Nothing else matters. Yet whichever decade brings them together, Violet and Albert are soon forced to question: what if they met the right person at the wrong time?


As both a book blogger and a bookseller I’m very fortunate to have access to a lot of books, some I like more than others, but I love finding a book that really sparkles for me. That seamlessly combines both a relaxing, easy reading experience with plenty to think about. For that reason, I chose What Time is Love? by Holly Williams as my Book of the Month for The Rabbit Hole Independent Bookshop, where I work, for June 2022.

This ticked so many boxes for me right from the blurb. Playing with time. Tick. A love story. Tick. Exploring era specific society and politics. Tick.

What Time is Love? is a very clever book. It feels in many ways like three short stories. The meeting of Violet and Albert, always aged 20 in three different decades. They are a constant. Their core personalities and beliefs remaining the same. What changes is the world around them, and how this impacts their own love story. It’s a fascinating look at the progress made throughout the twentieth century, particularly in terms of gender roles and the expectation of women in the world at large.

Don’t mistake this for a soppy love story. Although the pair are destined to be together, always drawn to one another, their relationship(s) feel authentic. This most definitely isn’t full of rainbows and happy endings. Often, it’s the very opposite.

I was sold on What Time is Love? from the first page. A brilliant premise, executed fantastically. A perfect book to get lost in and mull over on holiday, or it would be a great book to incite discussion in a book club.

Published by Orion Books, What Time is Love? by Holly Williams is available now. If you’ve enjoyed this review and would like to support an Independent Bookshop, please consider buying through Bookshop.org and supporting the bookshop I work in, The Rabbit Hole in Brigg, North Lincolnshire.

Buy from Bookshop.org

If you’ve fancy being inspired by Holly’s favourite reads, check our her Favourite Books List on The Rabbit Hole shopfront, via Bookshop.org

Holly Williams Recommends….

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