The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells kindle â eBook 9780062213846 ✓ Andrew Sean Greer

kindle The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells kindle â eBook 9780062213846 ✓ Andrew Sean Greer ✓ ➣ The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells Ebook ➩ Author Andrew Sean Greer – 1985 After the death of her beloved twin brother Felix and the break up wi1985 After the death of her beloved twin brother Felix and the break up with her long time lover Nathan Greta Wells embarks on a radical psychiatric treatment to alleviate her suffocating depression But the treatment has unexpected effects and Greta finds herself transported to the lives she might have had if she'd been born in a different eraDuring the course of her treatment Greta Andrew Sean Greer has been fiddling with the hands on his watch again His novels are often preoccupied with how we interact with time That immensely clever bestseller “The Confessions of Max Tivoli” featured a 70 year old narrator who aged backward His debut novel “The Path of Minor Planets” synchronized a series of relationships to the cycles of a comet And now comes another high concept story “The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells” or as I like to think of it “The Time Traveler’s Strife”The book opens in New York in 1985 but don’t sit down — we won’t be here long Abandoned by her partner and devastated by the death of her gay twin brother Greta Wells pursues every treatment she can think of to raise her spirits Under the advice of a flamboyant aunt who lives in the downstairs apartment Greta runs through antidepressants from Ambivalon to zimelidine She tries acupressure yoga pot jogging colonics bran etc but nothing can “shake the nightmare” of her grief “How I longed to live in any time but this one” she says just before visiting Dr Cerletti to receive electroconvulsive therapyShockingly the good doctor’s first treatment sends Greta spinning back to 1918 There she finds herself among the same people she knew in 1985 but they’re all going about their early 20th century lives with significant changes In this sepia toned version Greta is married to her partner and waiting for him to return from the war in Europe What’s better her dear twin brother Felix is alive — though deeply closeted and engaged to a senator’s daughterHow did we get here? Don’t ask don’t tell Greta handles it all with aplomb because after all she’s not so much a woman as a Meddling Literary Device MLD “With fascination I looked around this version of my life in 1918” she says “I had been given this a life in which I had been born in another century and grew up in corsets and ribbons alongside my twin and married my Nathan and sent him off to war A life in which my brother lived but did not live well”But — oops look at the time We’re late for another weekly appointment with Dr Cerletti Now Greta wakes up in 1941 on the eve of Pearl Harbor “So there were at least three lives to lead” she summarizes helpfully “A life in 1918 with a husband away at war A life in 1941 with him here by my side” For all her time shifting shenanigans Greta Wells could be the daughter of HG but she uickly realizes that she’s not just traveling through time; she’s trading places with other Gretas “Of course this was how our minds had connected in that blue electric flash of madness across the membrane of three worlds so we switched places two Gretas and myself and woke to different lives”It’s that “of course” that really slays me — the straight faced effort to pass off this goofiness as something profound — like the formula for Flubber “I was someone switching television channels” Greta says “trying to keep all the characters straight” I can sympathize Following Gretas back and forth across the 20th century I felt like Bill Murray watching “The Parent Trap” on Groundhog DayThere’s really very little room in “The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells” for anything besides tending to the complications of its rickety structure Greer seems drawn to exploring how different historical settings create or influence our characters but these three time periods come to us with no than postcard details AIDS in 1985 World War II in 1941 flu in 1918 Placing these historic tragedies on the roulette wheel of Greta’s chronographic parlor game produces the kind of blurring that novels are supposed to resistWhat Greta can’t resist weirdly is interfering in her brother’s affairs no matter where in the century they happen to be “Surely there has to be a heaven” she thinks “Perhaps it was my job to make one” More dangerous words were never spoken — given the chance to see him alive again she prods him to acknowledge his homosexuality prying him out of the closet like some nosy middle school guidance counselor “Don’t be afraid with me” she pleads “Be yourself Please” Besides the ahistorical creepiness of this plan Greta’s titillation with her brother’s sexuality throws off the novel’s romantic focus In all of the time periods the Gretas are trying to “perfect their lives” by dealing with a man they love But those various stories of marriage and adultery never generate the passion and energy of her brother’s off stage trysts as though the novel were nervous about concentrating on its real interestWe’re left then with a highly mannered historical romance glazed with a touch of sci fi Almost every line is uttered in a perfumed sigh “Grief will go — it always does” Greta promises in one of the novel’s many self consciously pretty passages “But not before it forces us to do these absurd things and hurt ourselves and bring on suffering because grief that parasite above all else does not want to die and only in these terrible moments it creates can it feel itself thrashing back to life”You don’t need a time machine to experience a better novel by Greer Just go get a copy of “The Confessions of Max Tivoli”

eBook Ý The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells ç Andrew Sean Greer

Are unpredictable driven by their own desires and needsAs her final treatment looms uestions arise What will happen once each Greta learns how to stay in one of the other worlds? Who will choose to remain in which life?Magically atmospheric achingly romantic The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells beautifully imagines what if and wondrously wrestles with the impossibility of what could b I loved this book but I know that it has lots of mixed reviews I think readers who enjoyed Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life” and Niffenegger’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife” will have a better chance of liking it than those who did not The protagonist Greta travels back in time to 1918 and 1941 from her life in 1985 through electroshock therapy she receives for depression She doesn’t really travel back in time though because she is the same age and living in the same apartment with the same people surrounding her in each of these eras but details of each of Greta’s lives differ So she really is visiting alternate dimensions of her lives in 1918 and 1941 The Greta of 1918 and the Greta of 1941 also “travel” due to the electroshock therapy administered to them but this tended to be unclear for me at times because it wasn’t always explained well So each of the 3 Greta’s rotate between 1918 1941 and 1985 We only get to meet 1985 Greta but we get glimpses of how the other Greta’s live and whether or not they are happy If you think about this too hard it doesn’t make sense that this kind of therapy would allow for one to wake up in a different time and life but it provided the necessary transportation method for Greer to tell Greta’s story The book is melodramatic and romantic and the narrator Orlagh Cassidy portrays this well Greta is often nostalgic and sentimental about her family and friends in each of her lives and this is what I liked most about her character I don’t want to reveal too much because I liked being surprised by the twists and turns of the story Like I said I loved this book but I know many others did not I think this book will mostly appeal to fans of romance and time travel books I really like Cassidy as a narrator but I know she is not everyone’s cup of tea so give the sample audio a listen before making your decision This book isn’t perfectly executed but it really tugged at my heartstrings and so I felt it deserved 5 starsreview I posted at audible

Andrew Sean Greer ç The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells eBook

The Impossible Lives of Greta WellsCycles between her own time and her alternate lives in 1918 as a bohemian adulteress and 1941 as a devoted mother and wife Separated by time and social s Greta's three lives are achingly similar fraught with familiar tensions and difficult choices Each reality has its own losses its own rewards and each extracts a different price And the modern Greta learns that her alternate selves Suspend all belief and meet Greta Wells in 1985 suffering depression after her twin brother dies of AIDS and her partner leaves her for another woman After trying many treatments she finally goes with Electroconvulsive Therapy which sends her into a kind of time travel After each treatment she wakes up in rotation in 1918 1941 and 1985 In each life she is herself surrounded by familiar people but with situations adjusted to the time Eventually Greta realises there are two other Gretas moving in accord with her and all three of them are meddling with events in each place It was at this point that I started to lose track of who was doing what and where because it became very complex I just sat back and enjoyed the ride knowing that the author had it all in hand The ending was satisfactory and I know I enjoyed the book because I read it in one day It was very hard to put it downThis is maybe not in the same league as his beautiful book Less but still intriguing clever and totally enjoyable