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Editorial Reviews

A missing child has a profound impact on the family and the town she leaves behind — and in The Fates Will Find Their Way, author Hannah Pittard delves into the void that the disappearance of one 16-year-old girl leaves in the lives of the teenage boys who hardly knew her, while narrator Scott Shepherd gives voice to the boys’ past, present, and future.
Nora Lindell vanishes from her suburban neighborhood on Halloween, and the mystery of her disappearance is never solved. But for the rest of their lives, a group of teenage boys that ran in the same circles will wonder about her, creating their own personal visions of what her life might have become: Did she run away to the southwest, get married, have children? Was she abducted, tortured, murdered? Could she have flown to Mumbai and fallen in love with another woman? And — most chillingly — is one of the boys keeping something from the rest?
Despite all the unanswered questions, The Fates Will Find Their Way is not really a mystery: it’s a coming-of-age story told intriguingly from a first-person plural point of view — all “we”, “us”, and “our”. Shepherd gives a collective voice to a group of these most unreliable narrators — teenage boys — and imbues it with everything they’re feeling at that age: curiosity, excitement, bravado, confusion. But he also gives the text the sentimentality, nostalgia, and regret that the now-grown men feel while they’re looking back on that time, imagining Nora and filling in the gaps of their own faulty memories. The narration unspools at a leisurely pace, giving equal time to Nora’s possible fates and the boys’ attempt to reconcile who they were when she existed with who they have become. —Blythe Copeland
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Publisher's Summary

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.
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 - who we once were and may someday become.
©2011 Hannah Pittard (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
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Critic Reviews

"Pittard leads the reader into a slew of possibilities spinning out from a 16-year-old girl's disappearance, in her intriguing, beguiling debut.... Though the truth about Nora remains tantalizingly elusive—the reader is never quite sure what happened—the many possibilities are so captivating, and Pittard's prose so eloquent, that there's a far richer experience to be had in the chain of maybes and what-ifs than in nailing down the truth." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Amy on 02-16-11

Mexican and Indian accents should not sound alike

This is the first review I've ever written, but the narrator really hindered the experience of this novel for me. I didn't like the story either-- it felt like a list why writing a story as "we" can go terribly wrong-- but Shepherd's monotonous tone, inability to adjust to characters' voices, and unbearable "foreign" accents made it drag the whole way through. Don't do it.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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