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The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

Greer, Andrew Sean

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells
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A rapturously romantic story of a woman who finds herself transported to the "other lives" she might have lived. It is 1985. After the death of her beloved twin brother, Felix, and the abandonment of her long-time lover, Nathan, Greta Wells embarks on a radical psychiatric treatment to alleviate her suffocating depression and undergoes electroshock therapy. Over the course of the treatment, Greta finds herself repeatedly sent to 1918, 1941, and back to the present. Whisked from the gas-lit streets and horse-drawn carriages of the West Village to a martini-fueled lunch at the Oak Room, in these other worlds, Greta finds her brother alive and well--though fearfully masking his true personality. And her former lover is now her devoted husband...but will he be unfaithful to her in this life as well? Greta Wells is fascinated by her alter egos: in 1941, she is a devoted mother; in 1918, she is a bohemian adulteress. Separated by time and social mores, Greta's three lives are remarkably similar, fraught with familiar tensions and difficult choices. Each reality has its own losses, its own rewards, and each extracts a different price. And the modern Greta learns that her alternate selves are unpredictable, driven by their own desires and needs. As her final treatment looms, questions arise: What will happen once each Greta learns how to remain in one of the other worlds? Who will choose to stay in which life? In this spellbinding novel by Andrew Sean Greer, each reality has its own losses, its own rewards; each extracts a different price. Which life will she choose as she wrestles with the unpredictability of love and the consequences of even her most carefully considered choices? The author beautifully imagines "what if" and wondrously wrestles with the impossibility of what could be.-- Adapted from statements on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Impossible-Lives-Greta-Wells/dp/0062213784/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367423111&sr=1-1&keywords=impossible+lives+of+Greta+Wells
Publisher: New York : Ecco, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0062213784
9780062213785
Branch Call Number: FICTION GREER 2013
Characteristics: 289 p. :,ill., maps ;,24 cm

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Join the discussion on Nov. 19, 2014. After the death of her beloved twin brother, Felix, and the breakup with her longtime lover, Nathan, Greta Wells embarks on a radical psychiatric treatment to alleviate her suffocating depression. But the treatment has unexpected effects, and the Greta of 198... Read More »

A romantic story of a woman who finds herself transported to the other lives she might have lived in other times. Which life will she choose, 1918, 1941 or 1985? Available in e-book.

A rapturously romantic story of a woman who finds herself transported to the "other lives" she might have lived. It's 1985, after the death of her beloved twin brother and the abandonment of her long-time lover, Greta Wells undergoes electroshock treatment to alleviate her suffocating d... Read More »


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Jan 22, 2014
  • Michael Colford rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This one started off a little light, like a fantasy, time-travel, romance, wish-fulfillment story. But Andrew Sean Green does a nice job fleshing out his characters and drawing the reader in. When Greta Wells loses her beloved twin brother to AIDS, and her husband Nathan to another woman, she suffers some severe depression. A little electroshock therapy will do the trick, but what it ends up doing, is transporting her to the year 1918, where another Great Wells is dealing with her own accident and related electro-shock therapy. Another excursion to the early 1940s completes the loop and the three Gretas find themselves spending time in each others' lives.

This lovely fantasy is a fun read with some delightful characters. A little "tv-movie-of-the-week" but all-in-all a good read.

Dec 29, 2013
  • HannaBanana41 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed reading this, great story about time travel, love and romance.

Dec 15, 2013
  • ownedbydoxies rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really don't know what to say other than I'm totally loving this book!

Sep 13, 2013
  • jtkretzschmar rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“The premise of this novel isn’t that a woman travels through time: it’s that ‘the impossible happens once to each of us’…What this wonderful novel teaches us is how magic works.” — John Irving This is a quote from my favorite author about this book... I really couldn't compete with anything like that.

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