Huge thanks to Laura at Novel Magic for hosting me today! I’m honored to be here to talk about the music in Time Between Us.
While Anna and Bennett both have playlists of their own, I think of Anna’s as the primary soundtrack to Time Between Us. And it is a soundtrack, with each song mapping to specific chapters and scenes in the story.
I’m a total purist when it comes to this music. I wanted to be sure that these songs truly represented the music that would have lived on the shelf in Anna’s bedroom in 1995. So the music not only had to exist in 1995, it had to exist within the timeframe of the book: March to June 1995.
I spent many, many hours on Wikipedia, iTunes, and lyrics sites, listening to every line, mapping it to the right scene, and making sure that each song would have existed in Anna’s world.
It was the best, most enjoyable research I could imagine.
Here’s a little background on why these songs matter so much to me, which lines spoke to me most, and where they tie to the story:
This has long been one of my all-time favorite songs. It’s short and catchy, and perfect for the moment in this story when Anna’s realizing that her world where “little ever changes” is changing before her eyes.
I love the dreamy, floaty qualities of the music and lyrics in this song on the Foo Fighters debut album. Fun fact: This song is a tiny bit of a cheat. Sort of. After Kurt Cobain’s death, Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl, recorded this album entirely on his own. It didn’t come out until July 1995, but the demo was circulating big-time in early 1995. My college radio sources assure me that Justin would have heard in March. “…we float, float away. On the ground we come back down. That's not as big as what's flowin’ around here.” To me, that “floaty” feeling is time traveling. And eventhat’s not as big as what’s going on between Anna and Bennett.
Originally from Chicago, Smashing Pumpkins had to play a role on the playlist, and I had a hard time choosing the right song because I love so many. But the line,“Today is the greatest day I’ve ever known,”spoke to me most.
I’ve always loved this song, but I hadn’t heard it in years. And once I did, in the context of this story, I was hooked. Bennett starts off protecting himself, trying not to care about Anna. She's completely unexpected. He's not ready for her. But in the end, none of that matters. I love so many lines in this song, but I get chills every time I hear: “And Anna begins to change my mind... Every time she sneezes I believe it's love.”
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility. As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.