The Possible World is exactly the kind of book in which I am completely absorbed. I had to remind my family that I was reading because The Possible World had me wrapped. It was engrossing, emotional, and thoughtful, and everything I want a book to be.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Possible World is everything! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
The Possible World has three main characters who narrate, and just wait until you have the opportunity to meet them. My love for each overflows.
The book opens with six-year-old Ben attending a friend’s birthday party. Something horrible happens at the party, and Ben is the lone survivor. He is brought to the ER understandably traumatized and mute.
Lucy is an emergency room doctor (the author is formerly one), and she is experiencing a complex separation from her husband when a little boy is brought to the ER. Lucy’s sections have some of her daily life in the ER explored, including some medical jargon. I can think of a book I read with a group recently where medical jargon was thrown around, and it was over most of our heads, disconnecting some of us from the story. Not so in The Possible World. Lucy’s experience in the ER was fascinating, and it helped me to understand her.
In a nursing facility, Clare is about to turn one hundred years old. What a story she has to tell about a lifetime of secrets and loss. To me, she is at the heart of this novel; a steadfast root that grounds it all. Clare’s past and present is explored, and wow, her past is fully immersive. The storytelling here is like a dream.
Actually, all of the storytelling in The Possible World is dream-like. Ethereal. Magical. Ben, Lucy, and Clare are connected in some way, and one gift (there are many gifts) of this story is in the enchantment of that discovery. This book both broke my heart and mended it.
To the author, if you are reading this, I read past the finish line, and you are fortunate to live in a place I consider (blue) heaven on earth. 😊
Thank you the author for this emotionally-resonant book. You left your heart on every page. Thanks also to Scribner for the ARC. The Possible World is now available.
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An astonishing, deeply moving novel about 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.