Book Review: The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer

9780062213785The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

by Andrew Sean Greer
ISBN: 978-0-06-221378-5
HarperCollins, 2013

Who would you be if you lived in a different time? Maybe you do? Maybe, even as we share this 21st Century electronic communication together, another version of you sips tea out of china cups in the early 1900s, or patches up the war wounded in the turbulent 1940s. (Cue Twilight Zone theme music here.)

As the title suggests, this book has a Twilight Zone kind of feel. The various intersecting lives of Greta Wells seem impossible. Perhaps that is what makes them so intriguing: the possibilities of the impossible.

The main character, Greta Wells, meets herself in different times and learns about herself thanks to the different perspectives. To carry this off, Andrew Sean Greer, crafts an intricate plot. If it had not been deftly handled, it would have been confusing and convoluted, but Greer does it right, To carry this off, he creates each character not once but three times according to the culture of their time. If this had not been deftly handled, the characters would have been one-sided and false, but Greer does it right. He shades his characters appropriately for the time in which they live.

This is a “I don’t want to put this down until I see how it comes out” book. Greer provides an ending you don’t think you want, but which you realize is just right.

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on August 7, 2013, in Book reviews, Books for the beach, Books I borrowed, Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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