For The Someday Book

Book Review: The Fates Will Find Their Way

Posted on: December 31, 2013

The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard, Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers, 2011, 246 pp.

The-Fates-Will-Find-Their-Way-33012This is the last book from my impulse buys at the YMCA book sale a few months ago. They weren’t a half-bad lot, in all. This was a good vacation read during Christmas break–quick, light, but also a bit forgettable. And, frankly, there were some scenes I would rather forget.

The Fates Will Find Their Way is the story of a group of teen boys and their reactions–over the course of their lives–to a classmate, Nora Lindell, who goes missing. The story is not quite a mystery, although there is an element of mystery in it. It is not quite a coming-of-age novel, although we watch the boys mature into adulthood. Pittard uses a unique narrative voice, a “we” that consists of the group as a whole, that speaks not for one particular boy, but for the whole group and their shared memories and shared fantasies. That voice lasts throughout the entire narrative, as the group ages and the dreams and imaginations change. The story then carries a murkiness from beginning to end, as the group creates fantasy narratives for Nora’s life, both juvenile and adult, both terrifying and beautiful.

The story felt slow at first, as it took awhile for me to adapt to the strange narrative voice or to develop a relationship with the characters, since there were so many sharing the spotlight equally. There was also a lot of sexual content in the teen years, both fantasy and reality. I don’t consider myself a prude, but I found it a little more graphic than was helpful or interesting to the story. The Fates Will Find Their Way was a fine vacation read, an interesting narrative device, but nothing too exciting.

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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