Jun 12, 2015

Women's Fiction Spotlight: Maybe in Another Life

I'd heard of Taylor Jenkins Reid for sometime before I finally got around to reading a book by her. I knew she was masterful at contemporary stories and that she could elicit great emotional responses from her readers, but outside of that, I didn't really know what to expect. 

Blurb from Goodreads: At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

While this is Reid's third book, it is the first I've read. She is able to work character, complication and emotion seamlessly together with a compelling plot that explores what might happen if a single decision were made differently. Reid explores alternate effects, and somehow makes the reader want to have both happen. I'd heard she was an author to read, and now I can add my voice with those praising Taylor Jenkins Reid.

**review on advanced copy from NetGalley**