Review & Book Tour: The Other Life

The Other Life Book Cover

The Other Life
By Ellen Meister
Penguin
February 2011
320pp

The Short of It:

This book had me squirming in my seat. It asks the “tough” questions. The ones that we don’t like to ask ourselves unless we have to.  

The Rest of It:

Quinn Braverman is happily married to Lewis. She has one son and is expecting a baby. This should be a joyous time for them all, but Quinn struggles with what she’s been given. Her life seems “safe” and at times, a bit mundane. When she discovers a problem with the pregnancy, she is forced to consider her options. Most of us, when faced with a grave decision, make the decision based on any number of things. We look for support in those close to us. We seek guidance from professionals, etc. But Quinn? Quinn’s a bit different because she can actually escape her current life, to visit her “other” life, where she is dating Eugene and doesn’t  have to face any tough decisions. Through a portal in her basement, she attempts to live both lives.

As much as I enjoy portals and the idea of parallel universes, I struggled with the premise. Not so much the idea of it, because I can certainly suspend my disbelief in order to enjoy the story, but the execution of the portal pieces, didn’t come together for me so much. The appearance and the placement of the portals seemed a bit convenient and I had a tough time believing that a pregnant woman would even attempt to go through one, not knowing what would happen to the baby on the other side.

With that said, I was surprised at how anxious I was to get back to reading it! Some readers might argue this point but Quinn is a selfish character. Not overtly so, not enough to hate her, but enough to make me shake my head over her decisions.  I kept reading it though because I wanted to see what she would do next and how her decisions would affect her life with Lewis and her son.

Overall, this would be a great vacation book. There is enough of a story here to make you want to turn the pages, yet it’s not just bubble-gum lit in that there is nothing to think about. Oh, there’s plenty to think about and if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself frustrated over Quinn’s decisions, but also cheering her on in the end.

Ellen Meister

To visit Ellen’s website, click here.

To visit her blog, go here.

To follow her on Twitter, @EllenMeister.

To view Ellen’s other TLC tour stops, click here.

TLC Book Tours

 Source: Sent to me by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.

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18 thoughts on “Review & Book Tour: The Other Life”

  1. Sounds like a spin from Shriver’s The Post Birthday World (which just happens to be one of my favorite books ever). It is fun to suspend belief for just awhile, to play the what if game.

  2. I love these types of story ideas. I think I need to read this. Did you ever read Lionel Shriver’s The Post-Birthday World? It has a similar premise and is just fantastic!

    1. I read part of Post Birthday and then gave up on it. It was a little slow to me. This book reminded me of that movie Sliders, too. I think that was what it was called.

  3. I can’t imagine being faced with the choice between two different lives. I don’t think I’d ever be able to give up my Kiddo!

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one in spite of your issue with the portals. Thanks for being on the tour Ti!

  4. I’m not sure what I think of the whole idea of a portal through which someone gets to choose which life he/she likes best. I’m afraid I would get angry at this woman if she chooses a copout 😦 I’m assuming she has to choose one way or the other by the end?

    1. You hit the nail on the head. I got angry lots of times. Especially since she was pregnant and not just making a decision that would affect her and her only. It was very readable though but got me all fired up.

  5. Your review has left me wanting to read this one!!! I like books that make me think about them…and as you once pointed out when I reviewed a book I hated…I was still thinking about it days later!!

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