My new book follows two parallel story lines. One follows Marc, a successful executive who lives in an upscale neighborhood in Portland, Oregon and has a beautiful spouse and two great kids who are ready to launch their own lives. However, Marc is troubled by the behavior of his wife Aimee. What is wrong with her? She seems so distant and stressed out.
The second storyline follows a young corporate attorney named Alexandra, who is called Alex by her friends and associates. Alex has just bought her first house in a quaint, charming neighborhood in Portland. She unexpectedly has a young police officer named Sean come into her life after a traumatic accident near her home. Sean and Alex seem to be a perfect match and they begin to consider merging their futures.
All of the characters in my new novel deal with the sudden twists and turns that occur in life. We are all struggling to deal with uncertainty. Most of the time we have the impression that we are in charge of our lives. However, just below the surface lurks uncertainty which can test and strain us.
All of these events occur against the backdrop of the devastating economic downturn of 2008. The sudden turn of events which reversed fortunes and added uncertainty to many lives is just an example of the challenges we can suddenly face.
The title refers to the our sense that we are in control of the events of our lives. Any certainty we think exists in our life is only an illusion.
I began thinking about the “illusion of certainty” in our lives when in the summer of 2010 I received a cancer diagnosis. Such an event can seem to come out of nowhere. We think it suddenly introduces “uncertainty” in our lives. What we do not realize is that uncertainty is always lurking just beneath the surface of our lives.
I have since been undergoing treatment and I am now in good health and doing well. That experience left me contemplating how there are no guarantees in anyone’s future. We all do the best we can. Uncertainty is a condition of the human existence that we must learn to cope with.
There are no guarantees but a sudden turn of events can also bring positive events. One never knows what is around the next corner.
Greg Messel has written three novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by “Expiation” in 2010 and “The Illusion of Certainty” in 2011. Greg has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist. Greg also spent many years in the corporate world as a Financial Manager. He now devotes his energies to writing at his home in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, Carol.