Friday, February 11, 2011

The Fates Will Find Their Way - Hannah Pittard

Sixteen-year-old Nora Lindell is missing. And the neighborhood boys she's left behind are caught forever in the heady currents 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. 
A masterful literary debut that shines a light into the dream-filled space between childhood and all that follows, The Fates Will Find Their Way is a story about the stories we tell ourselves--of who we once were and might someday become. 

Title: The Fates Will Find Their Way
Author: Hannah Pittard
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Format: ARC
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Mark from HarperCollins for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
Look for it: Amazon, Book Depository.
My rating: 4/5 

When Nora Lindell went missing, the neighbourhood boys did not realize how her disappearance would affect the rest of their lives. As teens in her class, they banded together to figure out what happened. Did she run away, or did something bad happen to her? Throughout the next several decades, the boys gravitate towards the mystery surrounding Nora and her disappearance, all the while growing up and starting families themselves. With time marching on, they have nothing to do but live their lives, however they can't seem to forget about Nora or her family. 
With a haunting tone, and a mysterious and seemingly omniscient narrator, we are told the fate that may have befallen Nora Lindell. She is such a person that the boys of her class, and neighbourhood, gravitate towards, and when she disappears she becomes all the more mysterious. While her last actions are scrutinized, her fate is left up to debate, and the boys all have a version of events that they think is plausible. Their imaginations run wildly as they ponder all of the possible outcomes that could have befallen Nora, and though she disappeared while they were teens, they still in their later years can't seem to forget about her. Throughout the decades, they reminisce about Nora as they seem to focus more on her and her family, thinking of their own families as more of an afterthought. 
Throughout there is a sense of mystery upheld, visible while every scenario is explored. The boys enjoy reminiscing about their past, and the history they share with the Lindell family. They, though adults now, still feel the sting of those memories, and enjoy dredging up the memories of pranks long past. With a healthy balance between the Lindell's new reality, and the boys lives, this book is sure to strike a chord in those looking for something to question what is and what could have been. 
Though this book is written for an adult audience, I believe some young adults will also enjoy the resonant mystery inherent in The Fates Will Find Their Way. Though this is not a fast-paced book by any means, it is still a quick and meaningful read. It will keep the reader guessing, along with the boys, as to what happened to Nora. A brilliant debut, I look forward to reading more from Hannah Pittard. 

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