An exhilarating, multi-layered narrative that explores love, loss and what makes us human, from the bestselling author of A Week in December and Birdsong
Sebastian Faulks was born and brought up in Newbury, Berkshire. He worked in journalism before starting to write books. He is best known for the French trilogy, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) and is also the author of a triple biography, The Fatal Englishman (1996); a small book of literary parodies, Pistache (2006); and the novels Human Traces (2005), Engleby (2007) and A Week in December (2009). He lives in London with his wife and their three children.
Geoffrey Talbot, a skilled British cricket player with a gift for languages, has taught at a boys' prep school for just one year before World War II breaks out and he signs up. Billy is seven years old in 1859 when his poverty-stricken parents choose him from among their five children to be sent to a British workhouse. In 2029, nine-year-old Elena Duranti is isolated from her peers by her brilliant mind and all-consuming curiosity; when her father brings home the orphan Bruno, the two soon bond as inseparable siblings. Jeanne is an uneducated, incurious, deeply religious peasant in 19th-century France who has been in service to the same family for as long as she can remember. And finally, in 1971, Brit Jack narrates the story of Anya, a troubled young hippie with a singing voice that stuns her listeners, captures hearts, and derails lives. VERDICT Faulks's (Birdsong) literary artistry is on gorgeous display as he brings to life five wildly disparate protagonists in stories linked by the strength of their characters, all challenged by the horrors of war, of abandonment, of the struggle between trust and faith, and of romance gone shockingly wrong. [See Prepub Alert, 6/11/12.]-Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"Both intriguing and unsettling... [Faulks's] versatility as a
writer is showcased in A Possible Life" * Discover Your History
"Most easily appreciated as a series of compelling short stories. Poignant, powerful and tender, they are lined by the pain and passion, hope and hardship, accident and design which make up the drama of an individual life" -- John Koski * Mail on Sunday *
"In form and scope, Sebastian Faulks's new novel is an unexpected delight . . . There's little sense of Faulks overreaching with heavily researched detail . . . you trust the narrative whether it is set in a workhouse or a death camp or a recording studio . . . It's rare to see an established writer broaden his range. A tightly written, moving and exciting work of fiction that deserves success, it should thrill established readers as well as win new fans. If you think you know Faulks - or even (and especially) if you haven't enjoyed his previous novels - it's time to look again." * Telegraph *
"Like the albums that Jack and Anya agonise over, A Possible Life is more than the sum of its parts . . . the stories acquire power as resonances between them accrete. Only at the end do you realise you've been won over by their quiet, glinting virtuosity" * The Times *
"An investigation into the nature of shared human experience . . . it does what any good novel should - it unsettles, it moves, and it forces us to question who we are" * Sunday Times *