The Other Life
By Ellen Meister
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399157134, 320pp.)
Publication Date: February 17, 2011
Read Ellen Meister's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.
If you could return to the road not taken, would you?
Happily married and pregnant, Quinn Braverman has an ominous secret. Every time she makes a major life decision, she knows an alternate reality exists in which she made the opposite choice-not only that, she knows how to cross over. But even in her darkest moments-like her mother's suicide-Quinn hasn't been tempted to slip through...until she receives devastating news about the baby she's carrying.
The grief lures her to peek across the portal, and before she knows it she's in the midst of the other life: the life in which she married another man, and is childless. The life in which her mother is still very much alive.
Quinn is forced to make a heartbreaking choice. Will she stay with the family she loves and her severely disabled child? Or will an easier life-and the primal need to be with her mother-win out?
Ellen Meister lives on Long Island with her husband and three children.
"Gripping! A truly fascinating story of love, loss, and a magical place in between."
– Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author of Hope In A Jar
"The Other Life is a provocative and unique tale of the road not taken. Ellen Meister puts a magical, masterful spin on one of my favorite questions: "What if?" What if you took both roads? You won't want to miss this one!"
– Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon
"Ellen Meister makes a big leap toward the literary in The Other Life, a book where "What if" becomes the most powerful question in the world. This is the thinking woman's beach read, a love story to the modern family, written with a deep and lovely understanding of mothers and daughters and the sacrifices they'll make for each other."
– Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming
"Intriguing, stimulating, original, unpredictable, frightening, utterly engaging—The Other Life reminded me why I love to read. Ellen Meister is a writer with a limitless future."
– Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Second Opinion and The Last Surgeon
"In her riveting breakthrough novel, The Other Life, gifted storyteller Ellen Meister doesn't just peek in on a young mother who straddles between love and doubt, she blows it open with a story of one who straddles two parallel universes, each with its own perilous decisions. It is a brave and honest exploration of the precarious limits of motherhood that will make readers wonder if Meister followed them with a probe and felt their racing hearts and hopes. If you have ever second guessed the biggest decisions of your life (and who hasn't), The Other Life is a captivating homage to the question, does love conquer all?"
– Saralee Rosenberg, author of Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead and Fate and Ms. Fortune
"I loved this emotional powerhouse of a novel that asks a daring "what if…" and manages to be as charming and funny as it is thoughtful and moving. Brava, Ellen Meister!"
– Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date and The Secret of Joy
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