The Possible World by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

The Possible world is a lovely story exploring the importance of family, friends and the memories we make with them. It begins with a tragedy. Ben, an anxious 6 year old goes to a birthday party he will never forget. Lucy is working in the hospital when those involved are admitted. I enjoyed reading a doctor’s viewpoint of the ER, and the various characters she encountered were a lighthearted, but sometimes emotional, break from the rest of the story.

We also meet Leo, who has a lot of memories about his past, and Clare, an old woman recalling the story of her life. Clare was by far the most interesting character in the book. Her life has been full of heartache, but also uplifted by the kindness of others. As the oldest woman in the town she realises there isn’t much time left to hold onto her memories. She is guarded, driven and lonely, but we also see how caring, nurturing and a loyal friend she is behind that. Clare drew me into the book and her relationships with others really made it for me. I only wish I could have known so much more about her.

The strands of these four main characters come together in a unique way. Each of them takes turns to tell their story and bring the reader closer to the truth. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel satisfied with how the characters were inextricably linked. The big reveal didn’t sit right with me and I couldn’t help wishing they were written as two separate stories. Regardless of this, I loved my time with Clare and the others and have been left wanting just a little more time. Something I think Clare herself would have been wishing for when remembering those who were most important in her life.

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