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Saturday, April 2, 2011


by Ellen Meister - just released in hardcover and as an eBook

When Quinn's artist mother was pregnant with her, she attempted suicide.  Because of this very close brush with death, baby Quinn was born with an unusual ability; she knew there was another Quinn living a different life and that she could identify the "portals" to reach the other side.  Throughout the years, her mother protected her from reaching through these portals. 

Fast forward thirty-odd years and Quinn Braverman is a young married mother with one child and another on the way. After undergoing tests, she and and husband Lewis are faced with the horrible choice of terminating the pregnancy or giving birth to a severely disabled child.  Quinn's mother had finally succumbed to her depression and died of an overdose, and Quinn desperately wants to talk to her mother about her baby.

Quinn finally uses the "portal"; a crack in the wall in her basement laundry room to visit the road not taken when she left her self-centered, neurotic lover for Lewis.  On the other side, her mother hasn't chosen suicide and Quinn is still with her ex-boyfriend, living a sophisticated urban life.  Coming back through the portal to her life with Lewis and her son is more difficult each time Quinn goes through the portal to the other side, and Quinn has to finally face which life is more real and important to her.

Who wouldn't want to be able to view the fork in the road of life we didn't take?  But Meister's trite treatment of this subject as well as a selfish protagonist who uses a crack in a cement wall to escape the difficulties she and her husband are facing is more than silly.  Especially since Quinn always seems to get back to reality before her young son's school bus arrives. 

THE OTHER LIFE tries to straddle the line between serious women's fiction and the supernatural and ultimately fails at both.  Save your money and skip this one.

ISBN 978-0-399-15713-4
320 pages

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