Thursday 19 March 2015

The Fates Will Find Their Way

Finished March 16
The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard

This novel is very unusual.
The unnamed narrator speaks for a group of men who all went to school together. When they were in high school a female student at the school, Nora, disappeared and no sign of her was ever found. Part of the novel tells of the effect this had on the boys, and the adults in their lives. The girls don't seem to really play into this narrative. There is one girl who hangs out with the boys that is mentioned in the beginning, one girl that never marries that get mentioned more for her sexy mother than herself, and there is Sissy, the younger sister of Nora, who reappears throughout the novel. The girls in high school barely get a mention, and the ones that end up as wives of these men don't even get named.
The narrator talks about "we" as the group of boys react, grow up, get married, have kids. He talks about some of the boys/men by name telling their particular stories.
You get a sense of their lives, the regular get-togethers of these guys, their group obsession with Nora and her fate, their lives moving on in ordinary mundane ways.
The other part of the book is about the boys'/mens' fantasies about what happened to Nora. Did she get lured away or did she leave on her own? Did she drive away with someone or go to the airport and fly away? Was she pregnant when she left or not? Did she marry? Where did she go? There are occasional "sightings" of her, some of them caught on camera, but the men can never agree if it is really her they saw.
I'm not sure what I really think of this book, as I find it is taking me some time to process. The nature of the narrative, the vagueness of the setting, the uncertainty of Nora's imagined life, make this a cross between everyman and an unnatural obsession with a girl they don't even know very well.

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