Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Other Life by Ellen Meister

I have not read this author before, so I had no idea what to expect. I picked this book up on my library's shelf of
 new(er) fiction. Looked interesting and the library was closing in 10 minutes, so a quick decision. That was on late Saturday afternoon. By Sunday night, I was reading the last few pages and looking the author up on line so I could see what else she had written. A very good book.
This is the story about Quinn Braverman, married mother of a little boy, pregnant with a little girl. Daughter of a mother that committed suicide, a few years before. Her mother, Nan, was a fairly sucessful artist, an intelligent woman, who happened to be bi-polar. Sister to brother Hadley, who does quite well when he is on his meds.
The book begins with a startling event. Nan who is pregnant with Quinn, tries to take her life and at the last minute calls for help. Both barely survive. But they do.......
Quinn has always sensed that she lived another life...that there was another life that ran parallel to the one she was in and that she could reach that other life by crawling through a crack or fissure in a wall or a floor. When she was young, she and her brother were horsing around on pile of dirt and she fell into a foundation and got injured. As she lay there, she saw a crack in the foundation and her arm went right through to the other side. Her brother saw it, too.
When she gets her sonogram for her own daughter, the doctors discover that the baby will be deformed. This sends Quinn into a tailspin, and she finds a crack in her wall under her pull down ironing board in the basement. (I know that sounds weird) She travels to the other life. The road not taken, where she is living with a needy famous radio host and her mother is still alive. She escapes from  a life where she loves her husband and son but the news about her daughter weighs heavy on her heart. She escapes because she needs her mother.
I recommend you read this book, it is very good. I don't like the science fictiony stuff, but I looked at it as not a physical crack in the wall, but as a mental/emotional  crack in the wall. I think we all wonder "what if". I always say I would love to go back for just one day, to tell my parents that I loved them, no matter what. To tell my friends that I would always remember them. To "fix" anything I could in that one day. "What if..."

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