The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells: A Novel

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells: A Novel

by Andrew Greer
3.4 15

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The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a turn of phrase Mr. Greer has! This book combines so many messages - hope, despair, love, acceptance - all with a time-travel plot that is unexpected but somehow rings true. I got from this that we are all one person but with many personas, and one cannot exist without the other. How true, and I will be reading the rest of his books now that I've discovered him!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...like alternate lives (or is it reincaration?), free will, boundaries, and the nature of time, all in a palatable serving of fiction. Greta Wells in 1985 has lost her twin brother to AIDS and her long-time lover to ennui and discontent. Now she suffers from debilitating depression that won't respond to anything but a series of electroshock sessions. The mechanism used by her doctor not only propels her out of her funk, it knocks Greta from 1985 into different time periods. She's still herself, but she steps into another Greta's life, with friends and relatives there as well, but playing different roles in these alternate lives. Her present day ex-lover is there in 1918, but unhappily involved with another. Her twin brother is alive, but a closeted gay man who affects nonchalance about his furtive liasons. In 1941, her beloved aunt, an emotional bulwark in both 1918 and 1985, died in a traffic accident, and Greta suffers the loss months after 1941 Greta mourned. This Greta is married with kids, but wondering if domesticity is really enough to fulfill her. Someone said that time exists so everything won't happen all at once, and space exists so it doesn't happen on top of itself. Einstein posited that perception is distorted when traveling near the speed of light (as one would if they could go to different eras); Heisenberg pointed out that merely perceiving an act could and would change the outcome of that act. When one of the Gretas opts not to undergo her scheduled shock treatment, it makes today's Greta fearful-- and excited. Can she make it back to 1985? Can she change her life so completely, and step on to an alternate path for more than just the few days between sessions? Does she really want to? questions we all must ask if we are to live an examined life. If not we succumb to quiet desperation, and Greta has been undergoing multiple shock treatments to escape that desperation. Her journey(s) make for an interesting ride. RoseQuartz29
gaylelin More than 1 year ago
I GIVE FIVE STARS TO THE IMPOSSIBLE LIVES OF GRETA WELLS. (Some people on Goodreads¿ were not very kind, and their reasons for low scores made no sense.) I don't care what anyone else thinks, I still give it five stars. Heck, I'd probably give Andrew Sean Greer¿ five stars on his looks alone. Now, that that's out of the way, this is the first book of Greer's that I've read, and his writing is beautiful. If he told the same story over and over, but used different descriptions, I'd read them all. Example: "I found Mrs. Green in the living room, looking out the window at the raindrops, each with a tiny streetlight tucked inside it." This is a time travel story in which shock treatments for depression cause the protagonist to move in and out of 1919, 1941, and 1985. The only thing that would have made this better for me, would be for me to be familiar with the streets of NYC. Then I could have pictured it all. Perhaps a movie will do that for me. Buy this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though the writing was different and interesting, some parts of the book dragged on. The overall idea of swapping lives with yourself is interesting. Just personally wasn't a fan of the speed, setting, or characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel of family, love and loss. The time travel component was well used to address the question everyone who has lost someone has... what if?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending was predictable but what exactly happened to Felix in the 1919 version? I'm guessing Ingrid's dad's people caught up to him? It was a good, sad story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written story of love, loss, and time travel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Depressing whatever lives buska
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
big time snooze. just another run of the mill "who am I and who do I want to be" book. No insite