One of the grand illusions of great writing is the appearance of effortlessness, a quality that Abbigail Rosewood often achieves in her debut novel, If I Had Two Lives. Rosewood writes with humility, but without apology .... With precision and dexterity, Rosewood has woven together a tale of staggering artistry, devastation, compassion, and social awareness ... With such a weighty lineup, one might expect an exhausting and sometimes unbearably heavy read. However, quite the contrary, Rosewood’s work is imbued with a touch of lightness that gives readers a sensation more akin to gliding through a shared dream than reading a text ... If I Had Two Lives is a work of radiance, and part of the excitement of the book’s release is the introduction of an author who surely has a long and successful career ahead of her.
At no point does Rosewood lose site of the migrant. She is conscious of an exact suffering; the absent contours in their motion—depicting the remoteness of anyone in transit. Because something is intrinsically lost. And someone is always left behind.
In this debut novel, Rosewood presents with searing clarity the uncertain and confusing world of a child with no one to guide her, followed by the equally confounding scenarios that confront her as a young woman, when she falls for Lilah, a woman whose motives for friendship stem from her own desires ... A poignant tale of loneliness and love.