Cover Image: The Possibilities

The Possibilities

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Member Reviews

This one was just too over my head...I spent most of the time reading very confused and not entirely sure what the heck was going on. I know the science fiction genre can be tricky and hit or miss...unfortunately, this was a miss for me.
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3.5 stars

"The Possibilities" and I just never clicked. I’m puzzled by it, too, because Yael Goldstein-Love’s story of a mother traveling through parallel worlds to find her missing son should’ve been catnip to my mama soul. Without fail, I’m drawn to stories of motherhood – I relate to them so well, being a mom of two boys.

And I’m even half-mad at myself for not liking the book more than I did. Because the author does everything right – she gives us a sympathetic mom to root for while combining a smart story with solid writing.

But what’s missing is the emotional piece. Hannah’s panic over her lost Jack isn’t palpable. I didn’t feel frantic as she searched for him; her desperation never transferred to me. And without a sense of urgency, a tension while reading, I could’ve cared less whether she ever found him.

On a positive note, though, I’d very much like to read Goldstein-Love again. Her mind works in an interesting way, and I’m curious to see where her writing leads next.

My sincerest appreciation to Yael Goldstein-Love, Random House, and NetGalley for the digital review copy. All opinions included herein are my own.
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I was unable to finish this book as it triggered my anxiety quite a bit as a postpartum mom, but I can tell it was going to be a powerful read. I'm hoping to pick it up again in the future once I have a better handle on my anxiety and OCD. Thank you for the opportunity!
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I am honestly glad I didn't read this too close to having a baby! The parts of the book about new motherhood were so raw and real. I was so angry for the MC. But then there was a whole other side to this story that broke my brain a little bit. Definitely a good pick for sci-fi lovers.
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I went into this book thinking it was going to be one thing, and then it just wasn’t.

I’m struggling to process my thoughts on this one because I did enjoy it, but it wasn’t what I wanted from it. I hate to compare books, but I went into this expecting a book similar to ‘Wrong Place, Wrong Time’ by Gillian McAllister and while there are a few similarities, this book just takes it to another level.

For me this book is the definition of “you really had me in the first half”. I was thoroughly invested in Hannah’s perspective and I - along with her - wanted to know what the heck was going on with her son. However, then a lot of wacky things start happening and I got lost along the way. I think I just got sick of the “I must save my baby” plot line as the book progressed. 

Not a bad book by any means, just not my cup of tea. Maybe if you are a mother and/or parent you will connect with this story more than I did.
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A well written, very interesting story.  At times I was not sure what was happening nor why it was happening.  But.  
by the end of the book, even though I had been occasionally confused, I can honestly say  that I enjoyed the experience.
Thanks NetGalley and  the publisher for the digital ARC
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Seems as if all the books I've gravitated towards over the past year have been about quantum physics and alternate universes. Thought this book would have been a fun ride but it took all my energy just to finish it, even skipping pages here and there. The concept was great but the premise of how the main character comes to realize such possibilities along with her ultimate quest was disjointed. Moral of the story is: a mother's love for her child will pierce through universes even if the mother ultimately could lose herself in the process to save said child. Thanks NetGalley.
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This book reminded me of Coraline and I loved it because it had a similar story line of mother and daughter working to find each other through their difficulties of life
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What an amazing concept for a book! This story is written from both sides in a way that had me wondering which ‘way’ was real. The horrible part, both ways are sad…I couldn’t decide which story I was hoping was the real one.
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A DNF for me, unfortunately. Premise (and cover) are really intriguing, but I couldn't get into the story or connect with the characters.
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I felt completely enthralled by the first half of the book. As a parent I resonated with the theme and assumed the second half of the book allowed the reader to feel what the character was feeling. My mind kept searching for answers and more importantly, solutions. The story opened my mind and my heart to a new way of understanding the journey parents take when mindfully approaching the layers of what it means to have this new little person be a part of your forever. Eager to read more from this author!
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Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hannah is a first time mother and she loves her son Jack, but she cannot shake the feeling of “what if my son did not make it?” Even after 8 months of having her son, she keeps having terrifying visions of different paths of her life. She and her husband just wonder if this is just anxiety from being a first time mom, but is there chance that it could be something else?

However, one of Hannah’s fears come true. Her son disappears from his crib, and she learns that she needs to tap into an ability she did not know she possesses. Hannah will find herself hopping through all her alternative lives to find her son.

I really liked the plot line of The Possibilities with it being a science fiction and a suspense/thriller. Due to being Sci-fi and a thriller, it definitely made it interesting and engaging. For the most part the plot was executed well, but there were times I felt the plot got confusing.

World Building/Alternative Reality
As I mentioned with the plot there was times this book became confusing,
 and I partially think this is because of how Hannah’s world and the alternative worlds were set up.

Thinking about it, the author probably set it up for us readers to be confused just like Hannah was when she discovered her ability. But, for me I really struggled in the beginning to get my bearings.

Hannah’s abilities were interesting for the most part, but when it was revealed on why and how she got the ability to jump through her alternative lives and then there is another reveal of why her son went missing, which I am not going to get into because of spoilers. But with that being said those two reveals felt like they were revealed super-fast and was not explored that well as well as grabbed out of thin air. It still worked for this book for the most part.

When it came to Hannah, I really enjoyed following her and seeing her different alternative lives. What I really loved about Hannah was her ambition to find her son and the extreme love for her son.

The Possibilities is a fast-paced book that hooks you from the beginning and makes it a quick read. However, the fast pacing allows this book to miss some marks and does not allow for exploration of the alternative worlds and Hannah’s. Plus, the ending felt rushed and wrapped up too fast.

Final Thoughts + Recommendations:
Overall, I found The Possibilities to be pretty enjoyable. I am not a mother to a human, just a dog, but if I was to put myself into Hannah’s shoes, I would be frantic and do anything to find my child. I cannot imagine the fear and anxiety that comes from your child going missing and having to go down different trails to see if it was a successful or not a successful trail that you followed. 

I’m not a huge fan of thrillers anymore since I can find the twists to be predictable so I try not to read them that much anymore, but I did not find this to be predictable.

If you are a fan of thrillers, then you will enjoy this. If you are a fan of sci-fi you will enjoy this too. I think if you are not too keen on thrillers, I think this would still be enjoyable for you.
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Enjoyed this one. Writing was a little muddled and messy but it worked out ok. Plot was really nothing new but the handling was different. Couldn’t call this an enjoyable read but it was an interesting one.
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The Possibilities is a really brilliant book evoking the changes to the sense of self, worry, anxiety, and other massive changes that come along as a first time parent, and especially a mother.
As novelist Hannah gives birth to her son Jack, she sees both a live baby and one that was stillborn. Now, months later, she has flashes of both outcomes, and starts straddling both worlds and we and those around her don't know what to believe. Is she seeing her therapist for postpartum depression or grief counseling? 
Then, things become really weird as her husband, therapist, mommy group, and others in her life begin to forget or doubt that Jack is alive.
Hannah digs deeper and begins to explore vast reaches of her possible lives where relationships with her mother, husband, and others are all quite different -- even down to how a better relationship with her mother (trapped in her own multiverse of possibilities) might have led her to a different writing genre, success level, and confidence.
Her quest, powers, and decisionmaking are a vivid metaphor for the choices we all have to make in how to anticipate and hopefully prevent disaster wherever possible -- which is especially vexing in that first year of a baby's life.
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What a phenomenal, original, moving story this was! Motherhood is an insane state of being, and Goldstein- Love captured that insanity perfectly in all its technicolor glory. The science fiction elements and the interpersonal relationships were both so definitely managed and intricately interwoven. The characterizations were magnificent and the pacing was spot on perfect. This was it really fabulous and engaging story that captured my heart and my imagination from the first pages.
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This book is very hard to categorize. The best I’ve managed so far is litfic sci-fi about adjusting to motherhood. It’s an interesting read but one that seems to lose itself and its message sometimes.

Ever since the birth of her son Jack eight months ago, Hannah has been on edge. Her therapist says it’s just a lingering response to his traumatic birth but Hannah isn’t wholly convinced. And on quite possibly the worst day of her life, suddenly Jack disappears and then reappears from the lobby of her therapist’s building. Was it just a hallucination brought on by a lack of sleep, as her therapist thinks? Of is it an omen of even worse things to come?

“I was a suspense writer for goodness’ sake. Fear was my mother tongue. But this level of fear right now, these past eight months, every second since the moment Jack was born. This level of fear was something altogether different, something that broke open the rules of how the world worked.”

As someone who had postpartum anxiety, it was all too easy to identify with Hannah. Parts of the book were painful to read – as I imagine they’d be for most people – but there were also parts that had me yelling “yes, that!”. While Hannah’s diagnosis was different, it cropped up in similar ways in her life. I was also part of a postpartum support group and the women there, while not the cast of characters that Hannah meets, were also a lifeline and a comfort in one of the darkest periods of my life. All that is to say that I found Hannah’s experiences of motherhood and her postpartum experience very realistic.

Hannah is a horror author but hasn’t written a word since Jack’s birth, turning down every nanny share her husband Adam has arranged. Instead she’s filled her days with the minutiae of Jack’s life, never more than an arm’s reach away, subsuming herself in the search of perfect motherhood. Any one who’s ever parented a baby – or interacted with the parent of a young baby – can probably guess how well that’s going. Since Adam’s reaction to the stress of parenting is to research and plan out everything in detail – and you can also guess how well babies and plans mix – it’s led to frustration and resentment on both sides.

My main issue with the book was the uneven pacing. The sections that were paced like a suspense novel were engrossing. The more introspective sections however had some repetetive items. Perhaps it was for lit fic fans who would be unfamiliar with the sci-fi concepts but some of their explanations felt especially belabored. The concepts themselves though, while a common sci fi trope, had an interesting spin that I enjoyed in terms of Hannah’s predicament.

“I’m so afraid,” I finally said.
Adam took one step closer.
“I know you are. That’s always when you start to ride the possibilities.”

Overall, an interesting exploration of motherhood through a sci-fi lens.

I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Hannah is having a bad day. Her son was born eight months ago, and she still thinks about how scary his birth was. She almost lost him, but things are looking up. Hannah begins to have visions of different paths, what if her son would have died? Or gone missing? Or…just so many things could go wrong.

Then one day, her son does go missing. She’s living her worst nightmare. To find him, she must enter the different versions of her life. Will she be able to find him and bring him back home. 

This book was so interesting. I am still not entirely sure what to think about it. It was a difficult read and I think that it would be difficult for any parent and anyone who’s dealt with post-partum mental health problems or anyone with PTSD from their child’s birth. As someone who dealt with post-partum depression and birth PTSD this book did hit close to home. Now, the premise was albeit interesting and held my attention, I didn’t want to stop reading. I loved the different dimensions though it could be hard at times to figure out where the characters were, but there were so many different dimensions that it really didn’t matter. I really enjoyed the writing style and would like to read more from this author. 

Thank you so much to the publisher, Random House Publishing Group – Random House, Random House, and Netgalley, @netgalley for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Hannah is a new mom who wasn't sure about the idea of children for most of her life, but is absolutely enamored with her infant son, Jack. She's struggling post-partum, though, haunted by the image she swore she saw in the delivery room of Jack not making it. She's fixated on tending to Jack to keep it from becoming a reality, and is going to therapy to work through it. But husband, Adam, insists this anxious person isn't who Hannah is, and initiates a separation. I want to throttle him. 

Overwhelmed with emotions and exhaustion, Hannah wonders briefly what her life would have been like if the delivery room nightmare that haunts her had been real, and suddenly is transported to another reality. In this world, her and Adam are still together, but Jack doesn't exist. After freaking out and returning to her reality, Hannah chalks this up to a waking nightmare from sleep deprivation. Until later when Jack disappears into thin air, and people start forgetting he exists. 

After another 'waking nightmare' where she meets a version of Adam that knows she's not 'his Hannah', and seeing the same two strangers in multiple 'nightmares', Hannah is on a mission. Figure out if she just really needs a nap (relatable), or if she can really travel between realities, and how to find HER Jack and keep everyone where they belong.

The physics involved in this book were fascinating to me, and I loved that Hannah was a horror author. Sometimes reading books where the MC is a writer can be annoyingly meta, but this did not feel cheesy and was a fun lens for her to see things through. I definitely felt vicariously gaslit and stressed by the characters' disregard for Hannah's experiences, and the end got a little wonky for me, but this book had some really interesting and beautiful takes on emotions and love told in a way I've never read before. I think this would hit harder for moms, but I enjoyed it regardless. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, & the author for the advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I got about 20% in and it felt like it jumped around too much, it was hard for me to follow - maybe that was the point, what’s real and what’s not, but I wasn’t connecting with the MC or the story.
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the possibilities by yael goldstein love
the possibilities is a captivating novel about motherhood that both challenges and entertains. the book explores thought-provoking themes with nuance, encouraging readers to ponder on deep, existential questions. yet, it occasionally veers into the realm of the overly-philosophical, making the narrative slightly inaccessible at times. this is a good read for those who appreciate introspective, character-driven stories and are willing to venture into somewhat dense philosophical territory.
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