Publisher: Ecco Books/HarperCollins, January 25 2011
Format/pages: Hardcover 256 pages
Format read: ARC courtesy of HarperCollins
Date read: February 2 2011
Summary (from the publisher) :
Sixteen-year-old Nora Lindell is missing. And the neighborhood boys she’s left behind are caught forever in the heady current of her absence.
As the days and years pile up, the mystery of her disappearance grows kaleidoscopically. A collection of rumors, divergent suspicions, and tantalizing what-ifs, Nora Lindell’s story is a shadowy projection of teenage lust, friendship, reverence, and regret, captured magically in the disembodied plural voice of the boys who still long for her.
Told in haunting, percussive prose, Hannah Pittard’s beautifully crafted novel tracks the emotional progress of the sister Nora left behind, the other families in their leafy suburban enclave, and the individual fates of the boys in her thrall. Far more eager to imagine Nora’s fate than to scrutinize their own, the boys sleepwalk into an adulthood of jobs, marriages, families, homes, and daughters of their own, all the while pining for a girl–and a life–that no longer exists, except in the imagination.
The Fates Will Find Their Way is Hannah Pittard’s debut novel. The novel is unique in many ways. The female author writes from the male perspective, and has written the book in first person plural. The narrator’s voice could be of any or all of the boys collectively. The story is told in a non-linear fashion and follows the narrator’s through their teenage years through their adulthood when they have teenagers of their own. The story is also unusual in the fact that the book starts out about a girl who goes missing on Halloween, however we never find out what happens to her.
The story is told by a group of boys who are obsessed with the missing girl Nora, and spend time theorizing on what may have happened to her. They imagine her abduction, and fill in the details such as the car, or airport, or city she may have ended up in. Nora has a younger sister, Sissy, who they are just as fascinated with as Nora.
In addition to the Nora story, we get to know the group of boys as they grow up. We see them at their pool parties, growing up with wives and children, and seeing their heartache and tragedy in their lives.
I was curious to find out what happened to Nora, but ultimately this is not what the book is about. The boys did not really want to find out either, and would rather keep her memory and her imagined fate to themselves.
This is a fascinating, compelling, and sometimes disturbing read about boys growing up and wanting to hold on to their boyhood as long as they can. It is uniquely told, nostalgic and intelligent. Recommended for those looking for a break from the YA or paranormal world. Looking forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.
For more information: