The depth and range of human emotion in the face of tragic loss is a specialty of Hemmings (some of your might remember her last best-seller, The Descendants) and her newest novel, The Possibilities, is a veritable showcase of her particular talent. Here we meet Sarah St. John, single mother and long-time Breckinridge, Colorado resident, three months after losing her only son in an avalanche. Her grief is still all-consuming as she grapples with societal expectations of putting the pieces of her life back together.
Sarah's grief only intensifies as she discovers her son wasn't necessarily who she thought he was and, consequently, her grief is compounded as she questions her parenting skills. With the support of her acerbic father, her newly-separated best friend who has recently discovered marijuana, and a mysterious young woman who abruptly shows up on her doorstep with questionable timing, Sarah begins to start living again.
Hemmings displays a unique gift for humor-through-tears story telling. By creating a cast of eccentric supporting characters for her protagonist, Hemmings is able to provide crucial comic relief that does not detract from the seriousness of subject at hand. I laughed. I might have shed a tear. Mostly, I empathized. And that is what makes a damned good book.
Highly, highly recommended reading.
Title: The Possibilities
Author: Kaui Hart Hemmings
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Courtesy of Publisher