Maybe in Another Life | By Taylor Jenkins Reid
About the Author
Taylor Jenkins Reid ruled the contemporary genre in 2018 with her book The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. She has written many popular adult contemporary books and Maybe in Another Life is one among them.
I listened to the audiobook of Maybe in Another Life in Scribd.
When Hannah Martin returns to LA she has no idea how her life will turn out. With no definite career path or family, at the age of twenty nine Hannah wants to make a fresh start. Her best friend Gabby makes her feel at home on her return and offers Hannah to stay with her. This book is all about choices and the consequences of those choices. The story is told from two different perspectives of Hannah. One if she chooses to stay with her best friend after a party and the other if she chooses to leave with her high school flame Ethan. What if Hannah leaves? And what if Hannah doesn’t?
Narrative and plot
If you have read my previous reviews, you may know that I am a fan of books that experiment with their narratives. This book had me in awe with the concept. The first thought that I had was, how did she come up with this stuff? It’s not just about alternating between the two what-if scenarios. It is the way they are knitted together that fascinated me. Excellent execution in terms of narrative.
Even without this out of the box narrative, the book had a strong plotline. The outline might be simple but it was told in a deep way that connects you with the story and the people involved in it. People – not just characters.
Characters and Conflicts
A flawed protagonist is always someone you could easily relate to. Someone who does not fit into the world she lives in, someone who is yet to recognise her passion, someone who is still in search of love and life in general. Hannah Martin resonates with your average twenty something woman in so many ways. She is strong and compassionate which makes her likeable. You immediately decide to overlook her flaws.
The whole story moves around Hannah and her perspective. So whatever we get to see about other characters is through her. The way she perceives the people in her life according to the situation shows that your assumptions about people change with circumstances. Sometimes that is just fine despite the right or wrong of it. I liked how reliable Ethan was and how attentive and charming Henry was. I do have a personal favourite scenario and plotline but I am refraining from mentioning that. That would be a spoiler.
The whole conflict of the book is actually a simple choice Hannah makes. Somehow your small actions can actually make a difference in the larger scheme of things. At least, the story makes us feel that way. At some point or other you would always wonder what would have happened if “If I took that job and moved to a different city?” “If I had said yes to that guy and settled with him” “If I had said no to this man who is the love of my life” “If I had followed my passion” “If I had stayed in my secured job”
Oh yes, life is full of what ifs. This book illustrates one such moment in Hannah’s life. And I think the point it wants to make is that in the end you will turn out fine, if that is what you are meant to be.
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a nice contemporary fiction. Even if you’re a newbie venturing into the adult contemporary genre, or looking to start Taylor Jenkins Reid, I would definitely recommend this book. My first five star rating of the year!!!