Terrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire.
Across the courtyard in a Victorian workhouse, a father is too ashamed to acknowledge his son.
A skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar; her voice sends shivers through the skull.
Soldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of connection – some key to understanding what makes us the people we become.
Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks’s dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities. From the pain and drama of these highly particular lives emerges a mysterious consolation: the chance to feel your heart beat in someone else’s life.
Recommend this book
Add your recommendation
Only registered users can recommend books. Please use the buttons below to either create a new account, or sign-in to an existing account.
In form and scope, Sebastian Faulks's new novel is an unexpected delight . . . There’s little sense of Faulks overreaching with heavily researched detail . . . you trust the narrative whether it is set in a workhouse or a death camp or a recording studio . . . It’s rare to see an established writer broaden his range. A tightly written, moving and exciting work of fiction that deserves success, it should thrill established readers as well as win new fans. If you think you know Faulks – or even (and especially) if you haven’t enjoyed his previous novels – it’s time to look again. - Telegraph
Like the albums that Jack and Anya agonise over, A Possible Life is more than the sum of its parts . . . the stories acquire power as resonances between them accrete. Only at the end do you realise you’ve been won over by their quiet, glinting virtuosity - The Times
An investigation into the nature of shared human experience . . . it does what any good novel should – it unsettles, it moves, and it forces us to question who we are - Sunday Times
These stories are delicate, persuasive expressions of one of the melancholies of ageing – the sorry realisation that your life has after all not been as distinctive as it felt at the time, a realisation perhaps best met by the hope that the very communality of life can yet be treasured. - Evening Standard
Critics often underestimate Faulks’s versatility: his protean restlessness, half disguised by mainstream bestsellerdom . . . All these ‘possible’ lives, as they echo and overlap like Anya’s own motifs, add up (I suspect) to a portrait of the artist as he approaches 60 - Independent
Delicate, persuasive expressions of one of the melancholies of ageing – the sorry realization that your life has after all not been so distinctive as it felt at the time, a realization perhaps best met by the hope that the very communality of life can yet be treasured. - Scotland on Sunday
Within these pages we find some of his best writing. - Literary Review
Sublime . . . a hauntingly beautiful exploration of the frailties and strengths of the human heart - Easy Living
Sebastian Faulks was born and brought up in Newbury, Berkshire. He worked in journalism before starting to write books. He is best known for the French trilogy, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and CharlotteGray (1989-1997) and is also the author of a triple biography, The Fatal Englishman (1996); a small book of literary parodies, Pistache (2006); and the novels HumanTraces (2005), Engleby (2007) and A Week in December (2009). He lives in London with his wife and their three children.