Writing

Review: The Possible World by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

Review: The Possible World 

5/5

This book is quite simply magical!

Imagine the Fates weaving their tapestries, tying people together and cutting threads. The Possible World had some of that mystery about it, with the different lives of Leo, Clare and Lucy zigging and zagging closer together and then further apart. Finding out the ways that they are connected was a joy.

In a way, this novel felt like two novels interlaid with each other. First there is the story of Leo, the little boy who is the only possible witness to an unspeakable crime. For the first part of the book all I cared about was Leo. Was he going to be alright? What had caused him to be so quiet?

Then, gradually, something changed. As all of the characters grow on you they begin to feel very real. I would have quite happily read an entire novel about Lucy’s life in accident and emergency! I suppose some people might find the sections about her a little off topic, as the descriptions of the other cases she dealt with don’t fit so much into the overarching plot of the novel. I found though that it made her feel much more real. With less detail about her life she could have quite easily felt like a plot device designed to help sandwich together Clare and Leo.

By the second half of the novel it was Clare I cared about. Poor grouchy Clare. At first I had hated her. How miserable she seemed! Slowly, Schwarz worked her magic and Clare was transformed into the heroine. I really felt reminded that behind every grouchy or frustrated elderly person there is an entire lifetime of stories just waiting to be told.

Schwarz’s ability to bring together all of these threads into a compelling narrative was very impressive. The ending of the novel was so bittersweet but felt like the only possible ending.

I look forward to reading more from this immensely talented author soon! Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone and to Netgalley for the opportunity to read The Possible World.

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