Have you ever thought about how remarkably different people's lives are - that an intricate arrangement of choices, chance meetings, unforeseen circumstances, and relationships can combine to create a unique life path? Or, on the other hand, have you ever marveled over the universal sameness of the human experience? In A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts
, Sebastian Faulks explores these seemingly contradictory yet complimentary ideas through five main characters, living in five different places, during five different time periods.
First, there's Geoffrey (1938), a young and naïve schoolteacher who enlists during WWII ("
there would be, he imagined, an intense but brief struggle in Europe") only to find himself in Nazi-occupied Poland in an unspeakable situation; Billy (1859), an industrious Englishman who works his way out of poverty and gets...
Beyond the Book
It's no surprise that Sebastian Faulks might consider himself a Francophile. After all, a good number of his 14 books are set (or at least partially set) in France, including his three most famous novels, known as the "French trilogy": The Girl at the Lion d'Or
; and Charlotte Gray
, which in 2001, was made into a movie starring Cate Blanchette.
In 1961, when Faulks was eight, he first visited France with his family. He recalls in an interview, "…we stayed in Deauville, which was an old-fashioned resort in Normandy, in a boarding house... Very nice food,...