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The impossible lives of Greta Wells
Andrew Sean Greer
Adult Fiction GREER

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Crystal H. said:
When her twin brother dies from HIV in 1985 Greta takes drastic action and subjects herself to 25 rounds of electroconvulsive therapy. Her therapy garners more than just relief from her debilitating depression as she finds herself time traveling after every treatment. Greta cycles from 1918 to 1941 and back to 1985. As modern Greta moves through time the 1918 and 1941 Gretas travel as well, each forever altering Greta’s lives in the three time periods. Greer has created a touching and thought provoking read that you will not be able to put down.
posted Dec 21, 2013 at 1:50PM
Avatar for Ryner Ryner said:
Following her twin brother Felix’s death and her split with Nathan, her partner of ten years, Greta’s physician suggests electroconvulsive therapy to combat her feelings of depression and loneliness. What Greta doesn’t expect, however, is that each of the sessions somehow transports her into other versions of herself in one of several alternate time periods, including Greta of 1918 and Greta of 1941. In each of these separate realities, her close family and friends remain consistent, but their lives have played out differently, and Greta gets the feeling that her counterparts are trading places with her and living her 1985 life just as she is spending time in theirs. What happens when the twenty-five procedures have concluded?

I really relish stories about time travel, although I suppose Greta’s experience is something more like dimension travel. I wondered constantly about the other Gretas and what they were thinking and feeling. I was sort of expecting them leave notes for one another or otherwise attempt to communicate in some way, if only to share the feeling of "WOW! Isn’t this crazy what is happening to us?" I enjoyed the book, though it fell a little short of "unputdownable."
posted Jul 2, 2014 at 12:17PM
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main characters Greta Wells
Age: 31
Struggling with the death of her beloved gay twin brother and the abandonment of her long-time lover; undergoes electricshock therapy; finds herself repeatedly sent to 1918, 1941, and back to the present.

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