Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Possible World by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz

A richly compelling and deeply moving novel that traces the converging lives of a young boy who witnesses a brutal murder, the doctor who tends to him, and an elderly woman guarding her long buried past.

It seems like just another night shift for Lucy, an overworked ER physician in Providence, Rhode Island, until six-year-old Ben is brought in as the sole survivor from a horrifying crime scene. He’s traumatized and wordless; everything he knows has been taken from him in an afternoon. It’s not clear what he saw, or what he remembers.

Lucy, who’s grappling with a personal upheaval of her own, feels a profound, unexpected connection to the little boy. She wants to help him… but will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?

Across town, Clare will soon be turning one hundred years old. She has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, but a surprising encounter makes her realize that the time has come to tell her story.

As Ben, Lucy, and Clare struggle to confront the events that shattered their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together.

An expertly stitched story that spans nearly a century—from the Great Depression through the Vietnam War era and into the present—The Possible World is a captivating novel about the complicated ways our pasts shape our identities, the power of maternal love, the loneliness born out of loss, and how timeless bonds can help us triumph over grief.

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Buy Links

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I really enjoy stories which make me think outside my usual life, and which have a non-standard plot, and I love them especially much, if they are well written. This book ticked ALL those boxes.

Whilst I think that more or less everything that happens in the book is signposted early on, that is not really the point of the book, in my opinion. It is the emotions which are original on every page, and from each of the narrators. The attention to detail about the minutiae of life that make up a whole; the intricate melding of time and events to create three (or really four) people who will stick in your mind, is most engaging.

For me, one of the most interesting things was that I kept thinking they were in Ireland, or England, and not the USA. It was so like what I would expect it to have been in either country – and made me think that the similarities then were probably greater than now. The storm scene was particularly vivid and cruel. Whereas the modern-day ER actually gave relief from the sadness, which was a weird realisation.

At the risk of giving anything away, my advice is grab a copy of this well written, cleverly crafted book and enjoy. I think it starts slowly, but it builds up speed and has a satisfying way of making you read 'just one more chapter' until you reach the very end!

Liese O’Halloran Schwarz, an emergency-medicine doctor, published her first novel Near Canaan while in medical school. Her most recent novel is The Possible World, and she currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Connect with Liese

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Possible World by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz to read and review.

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