The Possible World by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz

The Possible World

“Every now and then I come across a book I wish I’d written. The Possible World is one of those.... A gorgeously wrought exploration of who gets to tell the story of our lives.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things"Hauntingly beautiful...the novel will seize readers from the first scene and hold tight until its satisfying conclusion." — Kirkus Reviews “Schwarz blends beautifully crafted prose with t...

Details The Possible World

TitleThe Possible World
Release DateJun 26th, 2018
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews The Possible World

  • Joyce
    5 starsI read the Kindle Edition.Leo (as he prefers to be known when his real name is Ben), is a young boy, perhaps five or six, who is the sole survivor of a horrific mass murder. He turns out to be the young son of another resident at the hospital with whom Lucy was acquainted whose name was Karen. Clare is nearly one hundred-years old and living in a care center. She is much more on the ball than the home attendants and other residents think s...
  • Ann
    What a stunning story. Three people who have never met but whose lives are affected by each other's actions. This book deals with second chances and a persuasive argument for reincarnation or past lives. Clare is almost 100 years old and living a lonely life in a nursing home. One of the residents makes it her mission to become friends and throughout the book Clare tells Gloria her life's story. Lucy is an ER doctor who treats Ben, a young boy wh...
  • The Cats Mother
    This lovely but sad book set in Rhode Island, tells the story of Lucy, overworked Emergency resident, six year old prodigy Ben, small for his age 11 year old Leo, given up by his mother to live in an orphanage, and Clare, the elderly resident of a nursing home.Lucy, who has recently separated from her husband and is on the verge of burnout from the relentless demands of her job, meets Ben when he is brought into the ER as the only survivor of a h...
  • Patty
    Thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of Liese O’Halloran Schwarz’s The Possible World, A Novel. The rating and review are my own thoughts and opinions, and have not been influenced by receiving this book to read.The Possible World is a story narrated from 3 points of view. Ben - a young child who survives the frightful trauma of witnessing a murder scene and is left with no memory, Lucy - the ER doctor w...
  • Sue Fernandez
    Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for an E-arc of this title in exchange for my honest review. Wow. I stayed up reading this book long into the night, knowing it would be worth being tired the next day. I love an alternating narration, and The Possible World tells the story from 3 points of view, one of whom is a young child. This seems like it would be difficult to do well, but Schwartz has done just that. A young boy survives a terrible crime...
  • Carla Buckley
    A compelling and gorgeously-written story about how chance meetings can send resounding ripples across generations and deep into the most unexpected and poignant places. If you loved ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, you will more than love THE POSSIBLE WORLD. I HIGHLY recommend this novel!
  • Sue Bottino
    Amazing! Fantastic! One of the best books I've read in a long time. The characters were so rich and so well-developed. Highly, highly recommend. I absolutely loved this book!
  • Jacqueline Burke
    Thank you Netgalley and publishers for providing an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest opinion. What a wonderful novel The Possible World is! This story unfolds through the perspectives of three narrators: Lucy, an overworked trauma doctor, Clare, a reclusive elderly woman with no family recording her life story on cassette tape while in a nursing home, and Ben/Leo, an 11 year old boy who is witness to a brutal mass murder that included ...
  • Megan
    This is going to be a difficult one to review, because I don’t want to give any hint of the plot away. But I’ll do my best!The book follows three people –Ben is a young boy and a survivor of a horrific attack that took his mother and friends. Alone in the hospital, he doesn’t seem to remember anything that happened to him.Lucy is a doctor in the midst of a painful break up and an immensely pressured time at work. She is called to treat Be...
  • Sue
    If only this had just been Clare’s story, and Leo’s story, and their relationship I’d have been so happy. I’d have been delighted if there had been much, much more of Clare’s story and none of Lucy’s or Ben’s, and certainly none of the hospital procedure and hypnotherapy used to link them to the main action. This author is a great storyteller but for me the structure of this novel felt contrived and distracted from her main achievem...
  • Nicki
    I very much enjoyed The Possible Wprld. Although dealing with the strange idea of reincarnation,, I found the book believable, contemporary and challenging (in a good way.) It is incredibly well written and I felt immersed In the worlds of the four main characters, one of whom was a 6 year old boy. I find novels often struggle to provide a realistic ‘voice of the child’ but in this case both children were written in an incredibly touching and...
  • Breakaway Reviewers
    The story of three interwoven, but separate lives.Ben, Lucy and Clare are of different generations, but their lives have a connection in the most surprising way and this develops gradually as the story progresses.Ben is the sole survivor of a terrible crime in which his mother and many others are brutally murdered. He is only six years old and the trauma of the event forces him to escape into another world and blot out the event which changed his...
  • Vix
    This is a book for romantic believers in a kind of love which can transcend generations. I could have read about these characters forever; I really didn’t want their stories to end!
  • Judy Collins
    Review to follow.
  • Laura
    This is a glorious book. I was fascinated by the three main characters Ben, Clare & Lucy and was invested in their stories from the very start. For me Clare’s story was my favourite and I found myself racing through this book trying to work out how her story would join up with Ben and Lucy's. If you’re looking for a gripping book full of mystery, well-written characters and with a heartwarming feel to it then this is the one for you. *I rece...
  • Nic
    ⭐⭐⭐ 3 enjoyable stars. This was an great break from the norm for me, I different genre, a different style of book.Overall I enjoyed the book, it was interesting spanning different time periods and told from different points of view.However the 3 stars reflects for me the disjointed nature of the chapters told from different perspectives; they lacked a sense of flow. Equally the Lucy chapters were far too descriptive regarding medical proced...
  • Heather
    I was so excited to read The Possible World by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz. The book sounded like a book I would devour. But I just couldn't get into it. This book is told from three points of view, Lucy, Claire, and Leo/ Ben. I found this to be very confusing. There was no flow at all. I have read many books written in this manner and it worked for them, but not here. As a medical professional myself, the medical jargon was way too much. The author...
  • aris ☆
    This is a really, really good story that’s beautifully written. The transitions between the POVs are interesting, and I was never bored or indifferent during a different person's point of view. All the characters are written so so well, and they're so different? Clare and Lucy and Ben - it's amazing how well the author has managed to link all the stories together. I loved this book because of how bittersweet it was; and I wanted to keep reading...
  • Ellie Hudson
    Really enjoyed this - ideal for a holiday read.
  • Girl
    I read this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher.A young boy is the sole survivor of a birthday party during which his mother, friends and a few others were murdered. A doctor who is finishing her residency tends to him at hospital. An elderly lady living at a care facility hides secrets about her past.Before you start reading the book, I have to warn you: it is not a realist novel. We have some magical realist / paranormal threads here, ...
  • Laurie
    This is definitely an exceptional novel. It is based on three main characters, a young boy who has witnessed a horrible tragedy and is the sole survivor, an elderly woman named Clara, who is 100. She is living in a nursing home with amazing memories, and an emergency room resident, Lucy, who is attempting to put the plot together, both in her own life and that of the young boy whose name is Ben, but wants to be Leo, and why?Reincarnation? I would...
  • Lynn
    I read the first few chapters with rapt interest: what on earth was the connection between a young boy who has just witnessed a murder, an ER resident whose marriage is not the only collateral damage in her life, and an old woman in a Senior Living facility. I was absolutely fascinated as their lives were unraveled before my eyes. Connections began to appear. Did I miss something? Did Leo grow up and join the military in VietNam where his plane ...
  • Tawnya Nelson
    I think the premise of this book is a good one; however, the storylines felt rushed and incomplete. For example, the relationship between Lucy and Joe felt forced. Was it necessary? Leo/Ben's storyline could have been improved by explaining what was going on sooner. The only consistent story I felt made sense was Claire's. There was just too much missing.
  • Tim
    I have a feeling that The Possible World is the kind of book that you either immensely enjoy or find deeply unsatisfying. Sadly, no matter how hard I tried, I found myself in the latter camp throughout reading this novel. This is not to say that author Liese O’Halloran Schwartz is devoid of talent – she writes beautifully and has an engaging style. However, the thin plot ultimately undermined the experience. The Possible World details the liv...
  • Liz
    via my blog O'Halloran Schwarz describes the interior life, the struggles of loss, pain, and recovery of characters of different ages in different time spaces. The drama of the plot comes immediately when there is a mass murder at a child's birthday party. Ben is the only survivor, his mother was one of the adults killed. Ben meets an E.R. doctor, Lucy, who was acquainted with his mother, a resident in a...
  • L Corky
    Thank you to #NetGalley and Scribner for a E-ARC of this book.The Possible World is told by three different points of view. Clare is a resident in a nursing home, she has a secret past that she has never told anyone. Leo is a young teen that was given to a orphanage by his mother. Leo meets Clare and she raises him. She is about to turn 100 years old.Ben is a young boy and the only survivor of a mass murder at a birthday party. He is traumatized ...
  • Cynthia
    3.5 stars rounded up because there’s a lot of sweetness in these characters and in the writing itself. Like other reviewers, I was unimpressed with the doctor Lucy story, but I loved Clare and found Leo/Ben endearing. I felt the author was trying to stuff an extra half a story into a very nice novel. Such a mixed reading experience!
  • Melissa
    Really lovely storytelling