Ivy and Abe - An introduction from the author, Elizabeth Enfield

  • 30.01.18
  • Harry Illingworth

When I talk to people about my novel "Ivy and Abe" their response is almost always the same. "I have story like that," they tell me and go on to explain their own Ivy and Abe type story...

It’s an almost universal experience: meeting someone, however fleetingly, and wondering what might have happened if you had met at a different time or under different circumstances.  From wondering what became of your first love (and perhaps cyber stalking them to find out) to the smallest exchange with someone in passing, the quiet recognition of a connection, a spark - and the wondering “what if?”
It’s this near universal experience, which sparked the idea for Ivy and Abe, a tale, or rather a series of tales, of two people who meet again and again, at various different times of their lives in a series of parallel universes.  

They meet as children and in their seventies. They embark on a passionate affair in mid life, when they are both married already and in another life they marry young, only for a dark shadow to threaten their happiness.

Throughout various incarnations of their lives, they come together  and go their separate ways, fall in and out of love, make or break promises.

In every universe, Ivy and Abe are meant to meet. But are they meant to be?

Multiverse theory proposes the theoretical possibility of infinite parallel universes. Physicists have likened this to a deck of cards: shuffle that deck and there are only so many orderings that can take places – shuffle it enough times and the order will start to repeat. This is our parallel universe.

I liked this metaphor and it mirrors one we use to talk about our own lives and what we make of them - dealing with the cards we have been dealt.

In Ivy and Abe, Abe’s multiple lives are repeatedly thrown a little off course by a random accident, whereas Ivy has something in hers, which is set from the moment she is born, which can only ever play out according to the card she has been given.
It’s a love story and it’s a life story. It’s about living and loving and the way our own stories are echoed and repeated with infinite variations across the globe and around the universe.

Elizabeth Enfield

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