If you look up the word "goon" in the Dicitonary one of its meanings would be someone who has committed a crime. Although Egan doesn't use it in that sense in the title of her book it is still a very relevant description of time and how it swiftly, maybe even mercilessly catches up with even the best of us. But the question that poses itself is what will you have done with your time when that goon makes itself visible?
"Time is a goon right? you gonna let it push you around?" appears twice in the book, once close to the beginning and once towards the end of the novel. By then the characters have matured (or not) and start to realize the consequences of their decisions taken twenty years ago in the throes of their youth and the start of their adult lives when one feels invincible and for some characters maybe overwhelmed by the life ahead of them.
This is a happy and sad book. A book about relationships, breakups and love in all places and all forms. It is a book about new beginnings and the end of dreams. A book about death in all its forms; not only the physical but the dying of dreams, of youth and at times of hope.
The writing is so fluid and the transition between characters and their interactions is so subtle that you find yourself unwilling to stop the journey and once it ends come the final scene all you want to do is live it again and again. This book begs a second, a third maybe even a fourth reading if you've got the time.