Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: The Fates Will Find Their Way

Author:  Hannah Pittard
Publication Date:  January 25, 2011 by Ecco
Review Copy Provided by:  publisher

About the Book - from Goodreads:  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.

My Thoughts:  When I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought it was YA, but as I read, I thought it might be adult fiction.  How could I have those thoughts?  Well, the book begins with everyone as teenagers, in high school, doing things that teenagers do.  But, the book is told in more of a "looking back" mode.  The characters are adults recalling their teenage days and how they got to where they are now.

This was a different read for me, because it is told from the male point of view.  While different, I enjoyed it.  Girls, women, are always wondering how the male brain works, and Pittard does a good job of getting into the male psyche for us.  There are many stories that relive high school from a female point of view, but it was amusing to hear it from the opposite sex.  They truly do think a lot about the female anatomy!

When Nora Lindell, age 16, disappeared, it left her sister and their group of friends wondering just what happened to her.  Although Pittard never really tells the reader the whole truth, we can piece parts of it together based on present day happenings in the book.  The boys in the group do a lot of speculating about what happened to her though.  Some scenarios are more plausible than others.  Nora is never forgotten, as some of the guys think they see her in various places as they are growing up and starting their own lives.

I think Pittard does a great job of putting into words and story form, what many of us do throughout our lives, wonder "what if."  What if we had done this, what if she had never disappeared, who would she have married?  Admit it, you've done it.  As an adult, I think we all wish we could go back to high school and maybe "do-over" some of our not so great moments.  We have all had those what if thoughts, and Pittard brings them to life, through the eyes of the boys.

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powells
Buy it at IndieBound


Lindsay N. Currie said...

Ah, good to hear your take on this book. My current WIP is written from the male POV and I'm enjoying it tremendously:) Good post!

bermudaonion said...

I do think it's easy to look back and wonder "what if" so this book sounds like something we could relate to. Great review, Shelly!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Nice review, Shelly ... I really liked this book, too. The unusual voice, the premise, the ambiguity of it all.

I wonder what drove Hannah Pittard to write from this collective male voice (and doesn't she make it look effortless? The structure just flows, and it "feels" like a male voice, even without the specific references).

Shelly B said...

Dawn, that is a great question! Maybe Hannah Pittard will stop by and answer that for us...a girl can dream right?

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Wow, this looks REALLY neat. I've seen the cover a few times in passing and have meant to check it out. Who knew it would be cool on the inside, too? :O)

Terry Doherty said...

This sounds like one of those books that will stay with you long after you finish the last page. It makes met think of All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard.

Got your note about being part of Share a Story ... Drop me an email and I'll send you some info. thereadingtub [at] gmail.

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