I’m reading a book right now that is very intriguing to me. It’s The Other Life by Ellen Meister. The main character is Quinn. She is married to Lewis and has a young son, Isaac. She is pregnant and in the beginning of the book, through routine testing, she discovers that her unborn daughter has a birth defect that is most likely unsurvivable.
Quinn’s mom committed suicide when Quinn was newly married to Lewis. The last time Quinn had seen her mom she was angry with her and she didn’t remember if she had even said goodbye to her mom when she left. What a horrible guilt trip that would be.
The intriguing thing is that Quinn can travel back and forth between her current reality and an alternate reality. She feels that her alternate life exists as if, when faced with major life decisions, she made the opposite choices. When she travels through a portal to her alternate life, she is not married to Lewis, she has no children and she is not pregnant. She is living with her previous boyfriend. And the huge thing is…her mom is alive in Quinn’s alternate life. In the passage where Quinn makes this discovery, she has traveled to the alternate reality for the first time. She is shocked to find that she has memories of both this alternate life and her “real” life. The phone rings and she is hesitant to answer, but on the fourth ring she picks up. The voice on the other end says, “Hi, kiddo.” It is her mom. My mom passed away almost 17 years ago and there have been so many times in those 17 years that I have wished I could just pick up the phone and hear her voice.
I’m less than halfway through the book now so I have lots of questions and suspicions about what’s to come. It seems that each time Quinn travels to her alternate life it becomes physically harder for her to get back to her “real” life. Also, she always exists in the alternate reality, but when she travels, she does not exist in her “real” life, she disappears with only a pile of her clothing left behind. It looks like at some point she will need to make a choice. Which life will she choose?
So far we have hints from Quinn’s childhood memories that when her mom was alive, she may have known about the alternate reality. Did her mom travel there, choosing her alternate life over her “real” life?
Well, even though there are things in this life of mine that I would like to be different, I know I would not ever choose an alternate reality that didn’t include my children and my husband! And Timmy, of course!