Book Review: A Possible Life

Title: A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts

Author: Sebastian Faulks

First, the title and tagline is misleading. This is not a novel in five parts and the characters are not linked across centuries. At least, no more than we ourselves are linked to all people trying to survive in this world and seek something seemingly elusive (whether that is religion, love, freedom, etc.). This book is a collection of short stories which share a theme, but ultimately can be read separately.

Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with this book and it didn’t make me want to turn the pages. This is the first Sebastian Faulks book I’ve read and supposedly, he’s a talented author. He can write, certainly, but I wasn’t drawn to his characters and I wasn’t pulled into their lives. The questions raised about human connection to each other and to our situations is easily relatable. If you enjoy ordinary people searching for that “something”, you might enjoy this.

I will say that the fifth story almost made me think sloshing through the first four was worth it. Again, not anything special, but I was intrigued by the perspective Faulks chose for this particular story. It is the story of a young woman’s rise to fame told through the eyes of a secondary character. It was beautifully done.

All in all, I give the book 3.5 out of 5 stars.