Another Life by Robert Haller
ebook, 400 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Blackstone Publishing
About the Book:
Robert Haller's ANOTHER LIFE, following four linked characters over the course of one summer, set around their local evangelical church, in which a teenage girl has an online relationship with an older man, a legendary high school musician returns to town as a mysterious recluse, a discontented mom finds new meaning in a secret affair, and a thirteen-year-old boy struggles to adjust to the presence of his new foster brother.
It’s as if my life were a stained-glass window or something—pretty to look at, but never changing—and then something came along to shatter my window, and now I’m trying to pick up the pieces. And I’m seeing that I don’t have to put them back the way they were before. I could move stuff around, rearrange things, throw out and add stuff, even.
An engrossing book with beautiful prose. Another Life is an interesting study with big contrasts in lifestyles an personalities. The first part on the book was busy with different characters and easy to get into. The characters were well developed and I had no trouble imagining them as reality. The plot intensified toward the end and it was hard to put down.
A most enjoyable read. The motivations of the main characters are deftly revealed over the course of the book and their interactions seemed almost inevitable in that context. The explorations of mother-child relationships are insightful and engaging - especially in the contrast between the single mother and the pastor, the patriarch of a two-parent family.
The author is obviously technically talented - he is masterful at setting and weaving together several tight, exciting plot-lines at a suspenseful pace. I finished this 375 page book in less than 48 hours. There are a few side stories in this book and each shows how the characters grow through the story. I liked and didn’t like how they changed. Some came into their own, while others seemed even more lost. I have to say Ben was my favorite because I saw a lot of my own son in this young man. He wanted to be loved, followed the rules and seemed to be the most invisible.
I’m sad, really sad, but I don’t mind being sad right now. It’s better than what I felt before, I think, which was nothing.
If you’re looking for a novel that’s heavy on character and good for an afternoon read, then this might be the book for you. Also, highly recommended for book clubs as there are so many intriguing discussion points.
Thank you NetGalley, Robert Haller and Blackstone Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.