feature: Life Stories in Literature

Review: “The Time Has Come” by Will Leitch

The Time Has Come by Will Leitch

  • Harper, 2023
  • Hardcover, 304 pages
  • ISBN 978-0-0632-3851-0
Book cover: The Time Has Come by Will Leitch

Lindburgh’s Pharmacy is an Athens, Georgia, institution—the type of beloved mom and pop shop that once dotted every American town but has mostly disappeared. But Lindburgh’s has recently become the object of attention of a local third grade teacher Tina Lamm (“Ms. Lamm to my students”). Tina is certain something very, very bad is happening behind its famous black door and she intends to do something about it.

Her suspicions—and the drastic actions she plans—are the unlikely glue that will connect her to a group of six employees and customers inside the pharmacy one hot Georgia evening. They include Theo, the Lindburgh’s scion with a secret of his own; Daphne, a nurse and Army veteran struggling with her faith; Jason, a local contractor uncertain how to deal with his gifted teenage son; Karson, a young lawyer and activist wrestling with a job offer that makes him uncomfortable; David, an Athens music scene lifer whose sobriety has been sorely tested by isolation; and Dorothy, a widow just beginning to regain her bear


The description of this recently published novel caught my attention because it focuses on what happens when lives intersect, one of the themes of Life Stories in Literature. I also like novels that present the story from more than one character’s point of view.

Keeping track of seven main characters was challenging at first, but I did manage to settle into the novel’s rhythm of jumping between them. As much as I appreciate multiple viewpoints, a cast of seven characters is a stretch. Four or five is a more comfortable number.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the first three-quarters or so of the novel. The characters were interesting and well enough developed to build tension and anticipation of the plot’s promised climax.

However, the finale was disappointing. The climax of the action was quite contrived and didn’t do justice to the previously developed characters. Suddenly, the story changed from an emphasis on characters to an action scene constructed to carry a message rather than to examine what these particular people might do under the circumstances.

The Time Has Come comes across as a novel designed to portray the senselessness of the myriad conspiracy theories now prevalent in U.S. society. But, as often happens with propaganda novels, the characterizations and the plot do not act together to create a satisfactory, unified whole.

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

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