Coldness can numb every hurt except heartache, as seen in Kelley Rose Waller’s Going Back Cold, which sets a mother’s bitter struggle with stillbirth against the backdrop of cutting-edge scientific research in Antarctica. When Dr. Jane Whyse’s experimentation with faster-than-light technology discloses the possibility of time travel, her grief forces her to grapple with the implications of altering the past. If she can go back, should she? Though this novel’s prose plods at times, its story is driven by both inner and interpersonal conflict. Jane’s cramped and isolated environment forces her to confront opposing opinions, deal with antagonistic personalities, and contrast her loss with a fellow crew member’s prior abortion. But is her real adversary the God who allowed death to freeze her soul?
Best for: Adults, fans of hard science fiction.
Discern: Traumatic depictions of miscarriage and postpartum depression, some vulgarity, frequent sexual innuendo.