Friday, May 6, 2011

The Other Life - Ellen Meister

What if?

This is one of those Sliding Doors/Post Birthday World kind of stories, where you kind of get the answer to "What if you had made a different decision?" This isn't just a rehash of that concept, though, it's really done in quite a unique way. I'd almost say there's a magical realism type vibe to this book, but not in the truest sense of the genre.

In fact, this is women's fiction, most assuredly dealing with women's issues. With a sprinkling of moral dilemmas, and the thought provoking idea of knowing what could have been, and deciding - is that what I prefer?

I found the story fast paced and the writing good. I'm not much of a "women's fiction" reader, so that in part prevented me from totally loving it, but also there were some minor flaws in the duel storylines. I was completely captivated, though, right from the start. I liked the main character. She was flawed. People are. I liked the way Meister was willing to show her at her most selfish, at her most irrational, at her weakest.

I listened on audio, and I loved the narrator for the main character Quinn. She was quite laconic in her delivery, so if slow audio bugs you, I'd go for the written version. I also didn't love the voices she did, but the story was told primarly by Quinn so there wasn't an overabundance of the other voices.

Engaging! A very solid 4 stars.

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