Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid


I went into reading this book fully anticipating a light, fun romantic read. While I did get that, I also got something very different from what I asked for.

This novel follows Hannah, an aimless 20 something year old woman who is finally returning back home to Los Angeles after living in multiple cities and dealing with the aftermath of a disastrous affair. Her best friend Gabby takes her out to a bar and Hannah bumps into her high school ex-boyfriend.

The story diverges here between a storyline in which she goes home with Ethan and the one in which she goes home with Gabby (kind of like the movie Sliding Doors).

This is where I found my issues with the book. Slight SPOILER ALERT: in one storyline, Hannah ends up injured and has to stay in a hospital for quite some time. Let me describe the method in which her nurse transfers her to a wheelchair:

He puts his arms underneath my legs. He tells me to put my arms around his neck, to hold on to him tightly. He leans over me, putting his arm around my back… I land back on my bed with a thud.”

I’m surprised the nurse shows up later in the story, because in real life this nurse would be laying in his bed, recovering from a work related injury for performing a vastly unsafe transfer!

The physical therapist isn’t much better: “He puts my feet on the floor. Tbat part I’ve gotten good at. Then he puts the walker in front of me. He pulls me up onto him, resting my arms and chest on his shoulders. He is bearing my weight”. I’m not even sure how this would work. Typically, patients hold onto you for a pivot transfer if there is no assistive device used. I don’t get having both simultaneously.

As an occupational therapist, I was disappointed that Hannah didn’t get any occupational therapy to speak of, though she was discharged home, concerned as to whether she could take care of herself: “I’m looking forward to sleeping in a real bed and bathing myself, maybe blow-drying my hair. Apparently, preparations have to be made to make that work, too. Mark installed a seat in the shower. Oh, to clean myself unaided! These are the things dreams are made of.” By the way, this occurred only a chapter or two after she had a hard time standing. Unrealistic! She also is able to get up from the floor soon after being hospitalized. No.

Overall, I give this book three stars. My favorite aspect of the book was her friendship with Gabby. I just really wish the author consulted health care professionals regarding the rehabilitation process, so that the odd choices would not distract me from the rest of the story.

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