Review : A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks

April 15, 2013
Author: Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Random House
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9780091936815
Rating: ★★★★½
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“Sometimes my whole life seems like a dream; occasionally I think that someone else has lived it for me. The events and the sensations, the stories and the things that make me what I am in the eyes of other people, the list of facts that make my life … They could be mine, they might be yours.”

Ever wondered why a certain someone walked into your life but never stayed behind? Or how in a moment of understanding you forgave the one who betrayed you into a world of misery? A Possible Life is a journey into such memories and persons – life, love and absurd moments that shape them.

The novel is in five parts, each a story of a different era; each defined by war, loss, faith, science and creativity. If you begin with an aim to create a connection within this loosely related plots, the deeply engaging narration will make you forget time and intent and lead you into the separate worlds of the writer’s makings. Such is the elegance of the prose and mark of the writing of Sebastian Faulks.

So we see, how in the light of a poor judgment of a fellow spy, a school teacher volunteering to soldier for his nation is entrapped in the death camp of the Nazis. An ordinary boy grows up into a landlord and confronts a dilemma of being a responsible husband or a humble lover. A girl who has it all – beauty and brains – makes a mark in the world of Science but is scarred by the loss of the company of the one she truly loved. A devout Christian maid finds herself slipping but once in life in the presence of her Savior. And in another world of music a man encounters pure love and creates a passion, and ends up losing both in the tides of time.

And yet what keeps them all going? Why doesn’t Eleana’s heart break even at losing her only soul mate and Freddy break down at the sudden desertion by his love? Or the school master does not succumb to a permanent illness of the mind? The belief that through all this and worse, we’ll still live; through a strange faith in the remembrances of the good and the bad.

It’s not however a steady moral fiber or a conscientiousness that the book means to bring out – it rather shows how human it is to err and how joyful it is to be human. The stories maybe of weakened hearts and forlorn spirits, but it is still hopeful on how in spite of this all, there is a possible life out there if we choose to make it. And this can be assured; at the end of the novel you can’t escape being affected by such subtle a life philosophy, and start seeing your world in a different light!

Shradha Shreejaya

Still figuring the exacts.Bibliophile by choice and student by nature.

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