July 2013 Indie Next List
“This exquisitely rendered novel captures one character in three distinct and historically significant periods: the flu epidemic of 1918, the wartime world of 1945, and the full-blown AIDS terror of 1985. Greer manages to achieve the near impossible himself in making Greta believable in all three. She suffers and learns in each circumstance, though her hard-won accumulated knowledge is of little help in solving the essential riddle that is life. Stilll, hers is a grand and brave journey that will not soon be forgotten.”
— Marion Abbott, Mrs. Dalloway's, Berkeley, CA
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 1985 finds herself transported to remarkably similar lives in different eras--as a bohemian and adulteress in 1918, and a devoted wife and mother in 1941--fraught with familiar tensions and difficult choices.
Traveling through time, the modern Greta learns that each reality has its own losses and rewards, and that her alternate selves are unpredictable, driven by their own desires and needs. And as the final treatment looms, one of these other selves could change everything.
Magically atmospheric, achingly romantic, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells beautifully imagines "what if" and wondrously wrestles with the impossibility of what could be.
About the Author
Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five works of fiction, including "The Story of a Marriage", which "The New York Times" has called an "inspired, lyrical novel," and "The Confessions of Max Tivoli", which was named a best book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. His stories have appeared in "The New Yorker", "Esquire", and "The Paris Review". He is the recipient of the Northern California Book Award, the California Book Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the O Henry Award for short fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library. Greer lives in San Francisco.