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The Possibilities: A Novel Audiobook, by Kaui Hart Hemmings Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kaui Hart Hemmings Narrator: Joy Osmanski Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2014 ISBN: 9781442368248
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In the idyllic ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado, Sarah St. John is reeling. Three months ago, her twenty-two-year-old son, Cully, died in an avalanche. Sarah, though single, is hardly alone in her grief. Her father, a retiree, tries to distract her with gadgets from the QVC home shopping channel. Sarah’s best friend offers life advice by venting details of her own messy divorce. Even Cully’s father reemerges, stirring more emotions and confusion than Sarah needs. Still, Sarah feels she is facing the stages of grief—the anger, the sadness, the letting go—alone.

Barely ready to face the fact she will never again hear the swoosh of her son’s ski pants or watch him skateboard past her window, Sarah is surprised when a strange girl arrives on her doorstep. Unexpected and unexplained, she bears a secret from Cully that could change all of their lives forever.

Kaui Hart Hemmings highlights the poignancy of grief and relationships in this stunning look at people faced with impossible choices in the wake of a tragedy. With the unsentimental and refreshingly wry style famous for presenting trouble in paradise in The Descendants, Hemmings in The Possibilities considers the difficult questions of what we risk to keep our loved ones close.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel is a graceful, subtle primer on freedom—the means by which we free (and forgive) ourselves, our parents, and our children, as well as the almost unbearable getting-of-wisdom by which we free our beloved dead. The Possibilities is familiar to us, in all its wit and intelligence, because we know the characters. We are the characters.”

    Susanna Moore, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Hemmings has dreamed up a beguiling assortment of characters…Funny, insightful, and unsentimental, the book confirms that, yes, people drive each other crazy much of the time, but as often as they fail, they never stop trying to rise to the occasion.”

    People (4 stars)

  • “What’s fresh about Hemmings’s book isn’t the various story lines but the characters’ antic personalities and the language with which she creates them…surprisingly entertaining and intermittently moving…The Possibilities is a novel about learning to move forward, even while haunted by such dark thoughts.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The inconsistency of humanity is gorgeous and sad and exhilarating, and Hemmings captures it as well as she ever has.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “[The Possibilities] is engagingly direct and unsentimental, somehow familiar yet richly, astutely observant and reflective. Hemmings has created a vivid, memorable group of flawed yet likable kindred spirits in whom we become deeply invested, charmed by the realistic rhythms and irreverent non sequiturs of their lively conversations.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A gorgeous, smart book about letting go, and seeing all that remains, and then learning to cherish all the possibilities left to you with gratitude and grace.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “[A] wry and heartwarming second novel from the author of The Descendants…On closer inspection, the novel is a treatise on parenthood: Sarah struggles less with Cully’s death and more with the fear that she never really knew him at all. ‘What’s the point of everything parents do,’ she asks herself, ‘if the kids aren’t going to employ us?’”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Hemmings writes a piercing, empathetic story about parenthood and unfathomable heartbreak and manages to bring humor and hope to her characters. Emotionally complex and relatable to all, it will be particularly understandable to those who’ve experienced the inexplicable, devastating loss of a loved one.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Hemmings deftly deploys her idyllic setting, leavens tragedy with humor, avoids sentimentality, and offers characters whom readers will find very appealing.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “For readers who enjoy modern characters, some laughs, and a good cry.”

    Library Journal

  • “Ostensibly about death, it is at its core really about life—in all its messy, funny, hurtful, confusing, and transcendent moments.”


  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, May 2014
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A BookPage Top Pick, May 2014
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Kaui Hart Hemmings, American novelist, has degrees from Colorado College and Sarah Lawrence, and she was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her first novel, The Descendants, has been published in twenty-two other countries and is now an Oscar-winning film directed by Alexander Payne and starring George Clooney.

About the Narrator

Joy Osmanski, theater, television, and film actress, is an award-winning audiobook narrator who has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards. She graduated from Principia College with a degree in creative writing and received her MFA from UC San Diego.