The Possible World

The Possible World

An astonishing, deeply moving novel about the converging lives of a young boy who witnesses a brutal murder, the doctor who tends to him, and an elderly woman guarding her long buried past.

It seems like just another night shift for Lucy, an overworked ER physician in Providence, Rhode Island, until six-year-old Ben is brought in as the sole survivor from a horrifying crime scene. He’s traumatized and wordless; everything he knows has been taken from him in an afternoon. It’s not clear what he saw, or what he remembers.

Lucy, who’s grappling with a personal upheaval of her own, feels a profound, unexpected connection to the little boy. She wants to help him…but will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?

Across town, Clare will soon be turning one hundred years old. She has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, but a surprising encounter makes her realize that the time has come to tell her story.

As Ben, Lucy, and Clare struggle to confront the events that shattered their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together.

An expertly stitched story that spans nearly a century—from the Great Depression through the Vietnam War era and into the present—The Possible World is a captivating novel about the complicated ways our pasts shape our identities, the power of maternal love, the loneliness born out of loss, and how timeless bonds can help us triumph over grief.

Title:The Possible World
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781501166143
Format Type:

About Liese O'Halloran Schwarz

Liese O'Halloran Schwarz grew up in Washington, DC after an early childhood overseas. She went to Harvard and then attended medical school at University of Virginia. While in medical school, she won the Henfield/Transatlantic Review Prize and also published her first novel,


    The Possible World Reviews

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    The Possible World is everything! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟This is exactly the kind of book in which I get completely absorbed. I had to remind my family that I was reading because The Possible World h...

  • Angela M

    This book was everything that it says in the description on Goodreads and Edelweiss and more. I was glad for that. I found a lovely story of connections among three characters two of whom are in need ...

  • Diane S ?

    LOSS AND THE HUMAN NEED FOR CONNECTION. Three stories, one a young woman named, Lucy, an ER doctor, reeling from a failing marriage. A young boy, named Ben, who insisted he be called Leo, arrives in t...

  • Shirley Revill

    " Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form." Rumi. Three people Lucy, Ben and Claire are linked in a way that they could never imagine. Fate has a way of surprising us when we least...

  • Marialyce

    5 most gracious lovely starsYou can find my reviews at: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...There is beauty in love, in family, in the things one does with others, with the lives we have been give...

  • Peter

    TribulationThe Possible World is a beautiful, fascinating book to treasure, with 3 characters and their very poignant stories. The novel is narrated chapter by chapter from the perspective of Ben/Leo,...

  • Rose (Traveling Sister)

    “It’s all like a sweet dream I didn’t expect.”Setting: Rhode Island. Three main characters: Lucy, an ER resident who's recently separated from her husband; Leo, the alter ego of a boy named Be...

  • Tammy

    5 ☆ LOVED it!A deeply moving and unbelievable story that I couldn’t help but get caught up in. I found it wonderful how the characters spanning through a century all connected at the end, even tho...

  • Fictionophile

    Heart-breaking, heart-warming, and compelling literary fiction. This book is a must read!Amazing!The characters in this novel were unforgettable and I miss them already.First we meet Ben. He is a trep...

  • Lou

    I rarely request titles from the "General/Adult Fiction" category on NetGalley but when I do I usually find I have an enoyable time exploring a different genre to my usuals. While there were some plus...