Availability: Worldwide

If Sylvie Had Nine Lives

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781988298719 / 1988298717
  • 8½" x 5½"

Free Reading Guide

An innovative, gorgeously written story about the small decisions that shape our lives.

Meet Sylvie — funny, sly, sensual and flawed. She can’t always count on herself to make good choices. She may or may not recognize a life-or-death moment, may or may not cancel her own wedding with a day to spare, might just try to walk past store security with a little something in her pocket. Like all of us, Sylvie must make decisions that have reverberations for years to come. Unlike the rest of us, Sylvie gets to live more than one life.

In airy prose imbued with humour, this novel asks the big questions: is there a right path and a wrong path, or does each possibility hold its share of pleasure and pain? Does a person have an immutable self, or is her essence dependent on circumstances? In this energetic and innovative book, Leona Theis creates a world without the usual limits and a protaganist who is conflicted, charismatic, brave, and full of curiosity. If Sylvie Had Nine Lives is for everyone who has ever asked, What if…?

If Sylvie Had Nine Lives is a remarkable book, a palimpsest of different versions of a life that gives us a haunting, thrilling glimpse of the slender choices our lives hang by and the tangled threads that make even the simplest of them infinite mysteries.” — Nino Ricci

“Sylvie, the engaging heart of this innovative novel-in-stories, is a woman who truly contains multitudes. With these tales of rash decisions, romance, mishaps and mistakes, Leona Theis delves deeply into the layers that make up a life, many times over. Readers will be surprised and entertained as they get to know a new Sylvie in each chapter, every one a gem.” — Julie Paul

“A sharp and vibrant novel that delves with humour and humanity into the brimming possibilities of a flawed but appealing heroine. If Sylvie Had Nine Lives is a vivid exploration of the unexpected choices and chances that can make up a life — and a self.” — Saleema Nawaz

John V. Hicks Manuscript Award, 2016 (winner)

News & Events

Freehand wins four prizes at the 2021 Alberta Book Publishing Awards
Three Freehand books shortlisted for the 2021 Alberta Book Publishing Awards
If Sylvie Had Nine Lives wins the Saskatchewan Fiction Award
If Sylvie Had Nine Lives shortlisted for a High Plains Book Award
If Sylvie Had Nine Lives shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards
If Sylvie Had Nine Lives reviewed in the Winnipeg Free Press
Recording of Leona Theis's book launch for If Sylvie Had Nine Lives
Interview with Leona Theis in USask Arts&Science alumni magazine
Review of If Sylvie Had Nine Lives in Pickle Me This
If Sylvie Had Nine Lives in Chatelaine
October 8, 2020: Leona Theis online launch with McNally Robinson
Book trailer for Leona Theis's If Sylvie Had Nine Lives
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