Liese O'Halloran Schwarz

The Possible World
  • The Possible World

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    'Every now and then I come across a book I wish I’d written. The Possible World is one ... A gorgeously wrought exploration of who gets to tell the story of our lives, and who gets to inhabit that story with us' JODI PICOULT

    Ben is the sole survivor of a crime that claims his mother and countless others. He is just six years old, and already he must find a new place for himself in the world.

    Lucy, the doctor who tends to Ben, is grappling with a personal upheaval of her own. She feels a profound connection to the little boy who has lived through the unthinkable. Will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?

    Clare has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, until an unexpected encounter prompts her to tell her story.

    As they each struggle to confront the events – past and present – that have defined their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together...


    Ben can’t remember what happened to his mother. As the sole survivor of the crime that claimed her life, along with countless others, he’s now left orphaned and alone.

    But can Lucy help him to unlock his past? As she tends to Ben, a profound connection grows between doctor and patient. But will recovering his memory do more harm than good?

    Now almost a century old, Clare sits on a lifetime of secrets… until an unexpected encounter prompts her to tell her story.

    Three strangers . . . Generations apart . . . What links them together is stronger than fate.
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    'A beautiful story of loss and memory' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

    'Full of big questions' THE OBSERVER

Liese O’Halloran Schwarz published her first novel, Near Canaan, while she was studying at medical school. Her second novel, The Possible World, was published nearly thirty years later. She currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.