#ThrowbackThursday ~ Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid #Audiobook

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

Today I’m revisiting an audiobook I listened to a couple of years ago, narrated by the excellent Julia Whelan, Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 

Just after midnight when Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go, Ethan offers to take her home if she wants to stay out a little longer. From then on the storyline splits into two timelines. One takes Hannah home with Gabby, in the other she stays with Ethan. The following chapters alternate simultaneously between the two parallel universes and show how Hannah’s life, and that of those around her, unfolds in each one.
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Maybe In Another Life

From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Since graduating from college, twenty-nine year old Hannah Martin’s life has, so far, been without direction or purpose. Constantly on the move with no clear idea of what she wants to do with her life, Hannah decides to go back home to Los Angeles after a disastrous time in New York and an unfortunate affair with a married man. She moves in with her best friend, Gabby and Mark, Gabby’s husband while she gets her life together. On a night out with Gabby, Hannah meets her high school boyfriend, Ethan. They’d been very close but life had taken them in different directions. Continue reading

The Other Side

Imagine being able to find out what would happen if you’d chosen the other path…Would you make the same decision? And, if you could, would you go back and change all the mistakes you’ve ever made in the name of love?

‘The Other Side’ tells of four lives, all very different.

Four very different stories – but they are all connected.

I received a copy from the author. This does not affect my thoughts or the content of my review.

If you’re looking for something completely different and intriguing, with a unique and quite complex structure, and shot through with humour this could be the book for you. The story is very cleverly told from the present, going backwards over time, from four very diverse perspectives, showing how decisions taken and choices made can affect the outcome and shape the course of the future. And how different that future could be with one single change of direction.

Katya is a very successful business woman with a very large ego and no permanent man in her life. Years ago she and her friend, Maggie, had discussed ‘The Plan’ they devised for their lives. Katya’s didn’t include anyone less successful, less motivated or less monied than herself. 

Daniel was a van driver, for goodness sake! He was cute, she had to give Maggie that – okay, he was divine; twenty years ago she’d have put her best cleavage forward and demanded he be washed and brought to her tent. Unfortunately for Daniel, though, she’d reached the stage in her life when knife edge cheekbones and an endearing smile simply weren’t going to cut it, not without the rest of the package to back them up.

Cathy is trapped in a dull and boring marriage, with a controlling husband and his very intrusive family. Then she meets someone from her past.

She would be wrong whatever she did; she was used to that now. Would they have been equally snotty to any woman who’d taken Andy away from them? Probably!

If she’d realised what marrying into the Froud family actually meant, she would have headed for the hills while she still had a chance.

Alexa is living the dream, running a cafe in the picturesque Fort Angus in Scotland. Until Janey arrived.

She was trying to take away her man, and her best friend, and now even her position in her own business, the Loch View Café, that she and Charlie had built up, sweated and slaved over, for the past twelve years.

Sandie has a serious problem with alcohol. Filled with the hopelessness of her life and situation, in a relationship she doesn’t really want, she feels completely lost and superfluous. Then it was crunch time. It was time to stop trying to please everyone else and get her life back.

If ever a throwaway remark acted as a swift kick up the backside, it was that one. Sandie knew that Mirabel hadn’t meant it nastily, but she never wanted to be with any man who put up with her only because he thought he couldn’t do any better. Maybe he can’t, Sandie thought, but I can.

Three weeks later, she had not only a new haircut, but also a full time job in a pub, The Gallery, and a new flat.

The portrayal of the women, the completely contrasting experiences and the realistic lifestyle issues are compellingly written.

Entirely unpredictable, this story is a fascinating journey of supposition. How would a life unfold if particular choices were made differently and how would it impact on other people? Would that life be better? Or worse? And how would that person ever know how things might have turned out if they had grabbed an opportunity when it was offered, or not made that inopportune decision at that precise time. I could never have guessed the very satisfactory conclusion. An extremely entertaining story and one that makes you think. 

Round and Round

  • RoundandRoundAuthor: Terry Tyler
  • Kindle Edition 
  • Category: Contemporary/Paranormal
  • four-half-stars

I was given a copy by the author as part of Rosie Amber’s book review challenge.

Four Valentine cards – from four different men! 
Sophie Heron’s fortieth birthday is looming, and she is fed up with her job, her relationship, her whole life – not to mention her boyfriend’s new ‘hobby’, in which she definitely doesn’t want to get involved… 
Back in 1998 she had the choice of four men, and now she can’t help wondering how her life might have turned out if she’d chosen differently. 
The person to whom Sophie had always been closest was her beloved Auntie Flick, her second mother, friend and advisor. Before her death in 2001, Flick said, “when I’m up there having a cuppa with St Peter, I’ll have a word with him about making me your guardian angel, shall I?” 
As Sophie’s fortieth birthday draws near, she visits her aunt’s special place: a tree by a river, hidden from the world. Here she calls on Auntie Flick to show her the way forward – and help her look back into the past so she can see what might have been…

A very apt title for this novella for, as Sophie’s discontent and unhappiness with the way her life is unfolding grows, the thoughts of what might have been are swirling round her head. With all her choices, had she made the right decision all those years ago? The ‘what ifs’ are questions most of us would, at least, give a passing thought to from time to time. It’s fascinating to accompany Sophie as she is indeed looked after and helped by her ‘guardian angel’ as she tries to work though and sort out her life.

Anything with even a hint of the paranormal is a hook for me and I loved the way Sophie was shown the different potential consequences of her possible choices. Ultimately though, the only one who can make the turnaround is the person themselves. It’s quite thought-provoking, the many different ways a person’s life could turn out based on decisions taken.

The characters are sympathetically written and engaging and I couldn’t help but sympathise, especially with Sophie’s dilemma. Brilliant ending. And wouldn’t it be lovely to have an Auntie Flick in your life. A great story.

About the author

TerryTylerTerry lives in the north of England with her husband, and has published nine books on Amazon. Readers say she has created her own genre, which lies somewhere in the area of contemporary drama and romantic suspense, with the occasional bit of rock fiction thrown in.

A light, summer novella, ‘Round and Round’ is her latest release; ‘Kings and Queens’ is her latest of seven full length novels, and is a modern day re-telling of the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. A sequel is in progress.

When she is not writing, she practices housework avoidance, advanced Twittering, and worship at the altars of Jack Bauer, Tyrion Lannister, Deacon Claybourne and the macho blond one in ‘Vikings’.

Terry has a blog on which she writes about anything she feels like, and also writes for the UK Arts Directory on a weekly basis about self-publishing. Both blogs are widely read.