#BookReview The Possible World by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

About the book

An astonishing, deeply moving novel about the converging lives of a young boy who witnesses a brutal murder, the doctor who tends to him, and an elderly woman guarding her long buried past.

It seems like just another night shift for Lucy, an overworked ER physician in Providence, Rhode Island, until six-year-old Ben is brought in as the sole survivor from a horrifying crime scene. He’s traumatized and wordless; everything he knows has been taken from him in an afternoon. It’s not clear what he saw, or what he remembers.

Lucy, who’s grappling with a personal upheaval of her own, feels a profound, unexpected connection to the little boy. She wants to help him…but will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?

Across town, Clare will soon be turning one hundred years old. She has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, but a surprising encounter makes her realize that the time has come to tell her story.

As Ben, Lucy, and Clare struggle to confront the events that shattered their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together.

An expertly stitched story that spans nearly a century—from the Great Depression through the Vietnam War era and into the present—The Possible World is a captivating novel about the complicated ways our pasts shape our identities, the power of maternal love, the loneliness born out of loss, and how timeless bonds can help us triumph over grief.

Published by Hutchinson

Out now

Purchase Links

Amazon UK


Book Depository


I was lucky to read this via The Pigeonhole app, which sends a small chunk of a new/soon to be published book via your phone/tablet on a daily basis, and you have 24 hours in which to read each new stave.  And what a book this was to read that way!! Wow!

This is the story of Ben, Lucy and Clare. Three amazing characters all living very different lives until a shocking incident connects them all and brings their worlds much closer together. It was an absolutely stunning book to read and am very grateful to The Pigeonhole app – and the author! – for allowing me to welcome these characters in to my life!

Ben is just 6 years old and is witness to a most brutal tragedy that takes away his mother. How he deals with that is to shut down and becomes ‘Leo’. This is who Lucy meets as she works at the trauma unit at the local hospital. His story really breaks her heart, and allows her a little distance from her life and work which is beating her down. She wants to help this little boy but that is proving more and more difficult with his reluctance to open up.

And Clare is a seemingly forgotten woman in a care home. She has all her marbles but is reluctant herself to join in and open up to the other residents so is seen as distant and grumpy. When she does begin to tell her story it is one that shocks and touches your heart. Especially how it links in to the story of Ben and Lucy.

I just adored this book from start to finish! It is written so beautifully and each character stole my heart away! Wonderfully compelling and a must read!!



6 thoughts on “#BookReview The Possible World by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

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