The Possible World by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz
Ben is the sole survivor of a crime that claims his mother and countless others. He is just six years old, and already he must find a new place for himself in the world.
Lucy, the doctor who tends to Ben, is grappling with a personal upheaval of her own. She feels a profound connection to the little boy who has lived through the unthinkable. Will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?
Clare has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, until an unexpected encounter prompts her to tell her story.
As they each struggle to confront the events – past and present – that have defined their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together…
Book Review by Tanya Kannta
Oh, I just loved loved loved loooooved this book. Funny that, because crime is not my favorite genre. And at first it seems this is just a crime novel. But I’d be terribly irresponsible to let that notion fester. The Possible World does indeed begin with a heinous crime, but the story encompasses the journey of three lives, beautifully woven together.
Ben is a six-year-old boy who is the lone survivor of a multiple murder scene that included the death of his mother. What started out as a birthday party ends in trauma as he is whisked to the emergency room. Here he is first seen by the resident doctor, Lucy. She doesn’t spend too much time with Ben before he is taken to Psych for an evaluation. But Lucy’s life and Ben’s slowly become intertwined.
Ben is unable to remember anything, nor who he is, as he tells everyone he is Leo. But as Leo, he has stories aplenty that somehow mesh the past with the present.
Lucy, meanwhile, is going through upheaval in her own personal life. Yet she is drawn to Ben, especially as she learns more about his life and the stories he shares.
Finally, we have Clare. At 100, she decides it is time to share and record her own story, one that will weave together the lives of these characters. Indeed, in the final chapters, when I realized what was happening, I wanted more. I mourned how the story was about to end, and I proceeded to tell all my friends to read it so I could discuss the possibilities with someone!
Because in this story is a possible phenomenon that I’ve read about before (no spoilers) and I could not wait to discuss this with others. How the author depicts the lives of these three individuals is breathtaking and mesmerizing. And the possibility of what actually happened? Book clubs aplenty will have much to process.
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