Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
At the time of typing this up, the UK is in yet another heatwave. Hosepipe bans are looming and we are trying to work out the best formula for keeping the house cool. (Blinds down, windows closed until 7.30pm then open everything up). People are jetting off on summer holidays where temperatures are lower than the UK. It's baking. But even though I am an Autumn/Christmas girl all the way, sometimes you just can't beat a good summer read.
Read my review of Malibu Rising
Taylor Jenkins Reid approach to the top has been stellar. She writes achingly cool books, whether it's finding out about a '70s band on self-destruct, or a dysfunctional Malibu family, or a reclusive movie star. In my mind Taylor Jenkins Reid can do no wrong. So I was interested to read a much earlier novel of hers. How would it fare? Actually, very, very well.
From the acclaimed author of 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo comes a breathtaking novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters we see 2 possible scenarios unfold - with stunningly different results.
At the back of the book are a range of handy book group questions and suggestions of activities following the reading of the novel. One of which is to watch the movie 'Sliding Doors'. This gives us a good insight into the feel of the novel.
It's a very well-written and well thought-out novel. Our lead Hannah has had a slightly unconventional life, growing up apart from her family, moving around and struggling to decide where 'home' is.
Returning to LA and taking up residence with her best friend Gabby, she goes out and meets her first love. Should she spend the night with him or head home? And it is at this point that the story diverges. In one scenario she goes home with him, in the other she doesn't.
The novel is cleverly laid out with alternating chapters dependent on the scenario. But running through each pairs of chapters is a thread, it could be a theme, a phrase or a conversation that has featured in the other chapter. It's really very clever.
It also answers the question of home being not a place, but who you choose to fill your life with - friends, family and that special someone. I know many of you are already massive fans of this brilliant author. Indeed my page on Taylor Jenkins Reid Books in Order page is one of my most viewed pages. If, like me, you can't wait for the next TJR then read this one. It's a great backlist title. I loved it.