We all have our pet peeves. Personally, I loathe stories that constantly flashback to earlier events and then jump forward again. It’s too haphazard and too confusing. There is nothing wrong with a brief recall to give background to a character, etc. Here’s an example (pg 279):
Claudine asked, “Why MIT, Ravi?”
He remembered the day as vividly as the question; a warm, fall day with crumpled leaves scattered across the campus lawns, and the institute’s pale dome appearing to be on fire in the New England sunset.
“Why MIT?” she repeated.
“Oh, sorry,” Ravi replied. “My reason was simple and complex,” he answered. Claudine laughed and reached for his arm.
“Oh, that is funny. What do you mean?”
“The simple answer is Jay Forrester.”
“Jay Forrester?” she asked. “I’ve never heard of him.”
“Yes, Mr. Forrester was a smart guy who pioneered work on digital computers here at MIT. He’s famous for his Global Sustainability Model, predicting that civilization would destroy the world in 2040. And what’s remarkable, is his conclusion was the same made by Isaac Newton in 1704. That’s why their ideas intrigue me and they agree with scientists who established the Doomsday Clock over seventy-five years ago.”
“What did they conclude?”
“The clock is now set at one hundred seconds to midnight. Our time is almost up, and Armageddon will be upon us unless we do something radical to change the world.”
Claudine smiled. “That’s why I’m here.”
[More on flashbacks here.] Note: Jay Wright Forrester (July 14, 1918 – November 16, 2016) was a pioneering American computer engineer and systems scientist.