"The Possibilities" By Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Possibilities: A Novel
By Kaui Hart Hemmings

The author of The Descendants, which became an Oscar® winning film has written The Possibilities, set in Breckenridge, Colorado.  In it, we experience the tragedy of the death of a son expressed with a mix of honesty, grief and wit. As our protagonist looses her son in an accident, we see her navigate the crooked path of moving on with life. She deals with her return to work and her changed perspective on her role as a t.v. anchor for a tourist-focused channel in Breckenridge with caustic sarcasm, realizing the frivolity of it.  She finds both solace and frustration in her relationships with her live-in father, ex, and best friend, who is experiencing her own tragedy of divorce. As her struggles continue, a stranger enters their lives - a young woman who knew her son. This opens wounds and helps to heal, and takes all of them on an emotional journey.

Kaui Hart Hemmings' lead character, Sarah narrates with brutal honesty, and we are privy to her inner voice in a way we can all relate, but often afraid to admit. She talks of the guilt a little joy can bring following her son’s death. “Guilt came from feeling hungry, for having that sensation. It came from yawing, putting on makeup, dressing nicely.”  We hear her inner thoughts about her son, best friend, father and those around her and her self-judgement as a result, cutting, lonely and sometimes funny. Sarah struggles to understand her son better through his death and brace herself for life without him.  

What I enjoyed most is the book's honesty, intelligence and humor. It appears an authentic and incisive way in which people may manage bereavement, and is filled with messy raw emotions. It’s a heartbreaking tale with a twist, delivered with quick and easy dialogue, and at times unsettling. Overall, I really recommend this book. There is however, it's a little predictable and there is one scene that is a bit hard to buy into, but I’ll forgive it that because its sense of authenticity.  

Vickie’s rating: 4 stars