Time out is an interesting thematic development in the novels of Marita van der Vyver. She had previously investigated the themes of love and being together (eros), and then she worked with the death of a mother-in-the-text. Now she describes the devastating effect of the death of a little daughter on the mother-in-the-text. She delves further into death's reach (thanatos). And though the Hester Human of the title exists in the spell of her child's death the whole time - in a way she is her child too - it is not a sombre title.