What To Read Wednesday: Thursday Edition

 Yikes, I’ve been very MIA so far this year, but I swear I have a good excuse! Because the weather has been so ridiculously snowy, cold and icy, I’ve been hibernating in my room reading like crazy.  I made a goal this year to read 100 books and while that probably won’t happen (I plan on attacking some chunksters this year), I’ve been plugging away at my awesome pile of TBR books.  I also finished a few books that have been lingering on my half-read list, like ‘I, Robot’ and ‘The Instructions’.

I’m going to jump right into a book review

After all the hype that Hannah Pittard’s “The Fates Will Find Their Way” was getting from book bloggers, I pre-ordered my copy and dove in the day it was released. The book certainly lived up to my expectations and is now my go-to recommendation so far for the year.  The book is a very atmospheric, dream-like story that examines the impact a local tragedy has on a group of young boys.  Sixteen year old Nora Lindell vanishes from her upper middle class town on Halloween in the mid 1970s and is never seen again.   Stories surrounding her disappearance and fate multiply and grow into full fledged fantasies.  Was she kidnapped by a smooth talking stranger at the airport? Did she flee to Arizona to stay with relatives, marrying a hard working old Mexican? Or did she find her way to India and take up with a female companion?  The boys spend hours discussing and dissecting her life and family, not realizing the lifelong effect this will have on their lives.  The novel bounces back and forth between their teenage years and life as grown adults with children and families of their own and not only focuses on Nora Lindell, but also on their loss of innocence and fear of becoming an adult.  As you go deeper into the book, the secrets and private drama of the town residents are slowly revealed and you watch as lives are ruined and people die before their time. Adding to the group voice and tone of the story is Pittard’s choice to write in first person plural.  In the end, you realize that the boys don’t really want to discover what happened to Nora and her place in their hearts and minds is slowly drains away.

The novel reminds me very much of The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides; in fact this may be its only fault.  However, while both books are written from the perspective of a group of boys obsessed with the tragedy of a girl(s) in the 1970s, Pittard’s novel also focused on the theme of growing up/becoming an adult and therefore does indeed stand on its own.  I was also reminded, strangely, of the movie “Brick”, though I can’t actually figure out why. The book is neither snappy nor noir like the movie, but occasionally I would be reminded of the movie when the boys would get together and discuss different rumors and gossip about Nora. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is craving a quick, intense read (and really, who isn’t?).  Follow this link for an audio interview with Hannah Pittard, as well as an excerpt from the book.

2 Responses so far.

  1. I was just looking at this book the other day thinking I might give it a try. After I finish the book I'm reading now, I might just pick it up!

  2. Yay! It's a really quick read too. Let me know what you think, I feel like there is a group of people that may not enjoy it.

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