I love books that have the characters questioning the what-ifs in their lives. We’ve all wondered what could have happened if we had taken a different path in life. Did we end up exactly where we were meant to be? Maybe in Another Life takes the reader along on a journey with Hannah Martin, who upon her first night back in Los Angeles, is torn between two scenarios which could lead to quite different outcomes in her life.
After living in several different cities, trying to find one that she feels at home in, Hannah moves back to LA, back to the last place that she felt the strongest connection. At twenty-nine, she still doesn’t feel as though her life is figured out. Being back in LA with her best friend Gabby, who is more like a sister to her, she is on a mission to get a job, a car, and an apartment of her own. It’s time to get her life in order. When Gabby and Hannah go out to meet up with some old friends, Hannah is also reunited with her former love, Ethan. She always wondered if they would ever be able to rekindle what they had once had together. At the end of the night, Hannah has a decision to make: does she go back home with Gabby or does she take Ethan up on his offer for a ride home? Decisions, decisions!
We don’t really need to wonder how either of these scenarios would pan out for Hannah. Taylor Jenkins Reid tells Hannah’s story in two concurrent storylines so that we can see how her life would unfold in both scenarios. It was quite an emotional reading experience. It didn’t induce any tears, but I felt it all in the pit of my stomach. With the concurrent storylines, I found it moved the novel along at a fast pace. I would finish one chapter and need to read the next to find out what was transpiring in her other “life.” Did I find myself rooting for one of her choices over the other? Not really, but at a few points in the novel, I may have flip-flopped in my opinions a bit.
Maybe in Another Life is a thought-provoking novel that deals with our choices, fate, soul mates, family, and what is meant to be. I was immediately invested in Hannah’s life. I wanted her to find her true home, to feel comfortable, get established, and live her best life. I loved her friends and her other family, the Hudsons. I lived every scenario with her, as if I were right there experiencing it all myself. Jenkins Reid has a way of making her writing and stories feel so personal.