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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard~★★★

Author: Hannah Pittard
Title: The Fates Will Find Their Way
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Publisher: Ecco
Genre: Fiction

Book Jacket: "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, marriage, 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 may someday become."

Taryn's Review: Some people are afforded the luxury of leading charmed lives, yet others are introduced to tragedy at a young age. In this book, the narrator was a grown man focusing on the mystery of the vanished Nora Lindell, who disappeared when he was just a teen. The narrator also discussed the lives of his friends and their preoccupation regarding Nora's fate. The group of friends, both as teens and as adults, made up stories about possible outcomes for Nora, and occasionally some members of the group believed they had seen Nora in various places. The stories seemed to help keep the memory of the girl alive for the boys, especially since they seemed to realize that without the memories, Nora Lindell wouldn't exist.


After the boys had grown into men, they struggled with the reality that Nora may not exist anymore, but still hoped that she did exist somewhere. But at the same time, they were also sleepwalking through their own adulthoods. After one of the men was caught having sex with the 13 year-old daughter of a man he had grown up with, the group fragmented even more and faced the reality that they could not understand life's harshness. As the group grappled with the betrayal by their lifelong friend, the narrator asked, "What, right now, is taking place that we should be stopping but that we can't even see?" That begged the bigger question: can we even change the course of life or does fate already have our routes mapped out?

The book was dark and after a while the focus of "What became of Nora Lindell?"  became a bit dull. I think the struggle of life and existence for the boys/men was interesting, but it was difficult to connect with the characters in the story, especially as the men grew older. I didn't hate the book and I did appreciate Pittard's focus on how such events affected lives, even for those people who were not directly related to or involved with Nora Lindell. Pittard is a good writer and I'd read another of her books, but this book was so-so for me. 

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