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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

Difficult topic well handled

The Possibilities: A Novel - Kaui Hart Hemmings

For a parent, there are few things as devastating as the loss of a child and normally I avoid stories about children abducted or killed, but there’s an approachability to main character Sarah St. John that drew me into this novel and after reading the first few pages I was hooked. Breckenridge, Colorado is a mountain resort town full of tourists, but Sarah’s family has deep roots in its snowy landscape because it’s been their home for generations. Sarah’s son Cully was twenty-two and after graduating from college he was back home living with her when he died in an avalanche. It’s been just a few months since his death when the book opens and Sarah is overwhelmed but no longer crushed by sorrow and loss.


The Possibilities is told in the present tense which I often dislike, but here the immediacy suits the story since Sarah is working through her grief, not reflecting on it later. The main characters--her father, her best friend, her former boyfriend, and the young woman who comes into their lives--are all realistically imperfect and sometimes petty, but their connections to each other are deeply moving. Without thinking too closely about it, which would probably ruin the analogy, they remind me of the family from Little Miss Sunshine.


I appreciate that this book took on a difficult topic without providing formulaic answers, over simplifying, wallowing in tragedy and doom, or tying everything up too neatly and sweetly.The setting is so thoroughly integrated into the story that crisp, cold, clear mountain air practically blows off the pages. I haven’t read The Descendants, the author’s other novel, but if it is as well written as this book I fully understand its popularity.


Source: http://jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/987131/difficult-topic-well-handled