Sarah’s Book Corner; Review of “The Impossible Lives of Gretta Wells” by Andrew Sean Greer

The Impossible Lives of Gretta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer was published this year by ECCO, a division of Harper Collins Publishing. It is an easy read at only 289 pages but well worth it. My parents brought this book for me when they came to visit last week. I was just excited to have a book from them but when I read the back I couldn’t wait to sink my proverbial teeth into it! Set in New York in 1985 Gretta Wells is going through a hard time in her life, death, lose of love, loneliness, the whole bit. Finally she sees a psychiatrist who recommends a modern form of electro shock therapy. This seems outdated and questionable to Gretta but she is having such a hard time that she doesn’t know what else to do and goes for it. The doctor tells her that there will be twenty five rounds, one each Thursday and Friday, until the last one. Upon starting the therapy Gretta is taken back to 1919 and 1942. Each hold alternative universes where there is a new cast of characters, the same as her life in 1985, but all with some differences as well. Over time Gretta learns that while she is in one life there are two other Grettas from the past who are also making the rounds between 1919, 1942 and 1985, all three of them trying to find happiness in a world that has been hard on them.

The book is beautifully written and once you start reading you don’t want to stop. It’s the kind of book that you want to curl up on the sofa and read for hours on end until you finally finish it and then will want to start over again! It’s a novel about love, life and finding where you fit in. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read!



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