22 July, 2013

A Possible Life by Sebastain Faulks [Suneeta, Highland Park library]

“Sometimes my whole life seems like a dream; occasionally I think that someone else has lived it for me. The events and the sensations, the stories and the things that make me what I am in the eyes of other people, the list of facts that make my life ... They could be mine, they might be yours.” 
Sebastian Faulks, A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts

A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks is a novel in five parts. Five parts in which you don’t ever meet the same characters again, nor are you ever in the same place or time period. As such it’s impossible to describe this book by plot or setting, because it moves in no apparent order between a cricket loving teacher enduring the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp in world war two, a boy given away to a work-house in the early 19th century who makes a success of his life, forbidden love and science in a futuristic 2029, the life of a nursemaid looking after children in a French village in the 1800s and the 1970s music scene which sees a passionate love affair and the rise of  a music star in the U.S. What connects the five stories or novellas is a web of shared themes - of love, separation, opportunities missed, and within them, new possibilities discovered. Harsh conditions and adversity often bring a heightened awareness to the job of living and this is a thread that runs through the book. The protagonist in each part is artfully created and even though they are as diverse as you could possibly get, each character is credible and all the more likable for having a touch of the misfit in them; an evocative style with a lovely combination of descriptive, deep writing, and snappy dialogue gives the book that unputdownable quality. While you may enjoy one story more than another, I loved the writing, the story-telling, the people and the moods created and gave up lots of other things that I should have been doing, simply because I couldn’t stop reading. 

Author: Sebastian Faulks
ISBN: 9780091936815
Published: 2012
Publisher: Hutchinson

 - Suneeta, Highland Park Library

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