From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Pittard leads the reader into a slew of possibilities spinning out from a 16-year-old girl's disappearance, in her intriguing, beguiling debut. After Nora Lindell goes missing on Halloween, stories about her disappearance multiply: she got into a car with an unknown man, she was seen at the airport, she simply walked away, she was abducted. Pittard dips into the points-of-view of various classmates to explore these possibilities and more. Perhaps Nora was murdered. One theory sends her to Arizona, where she raises twin daughters with a lover named Mundo, and another path leads her to a near-death experience in a cafe bombing in India. The story also outlines effects of the disappearance on Nora's family and classmates, who, even as they graduate, marry, and have children, never quite let go of Nora—possibly to avoid their own lives. 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. (Feb.)
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Lauded short story author Pittard’s carefully plotted first novel, centered on the aftermath of a 16-year-old girl’s disappearance, is interestingly told from the first-person plural point of view of the boys she left behind. Now grown men with wives and families, they have, for the most part, remained in the sleepy, unnamed mid-Atlantic town of their youth. With the imagination of their awkward, sheepish teenage selves, the book’s narrators, at once interchangeable and completely singular, imagine what has happened to Nora Lindell in the 30 or so years since she vanished. In endlessly revealing their elaborate conjectures, the boys-turned-men inadvertently tell their own story, which is, not surprisingly, the only place where Pittard draws any real conclusions in her quiet, satisfying tale. Of Nora we learn one thing for certain, that her disappearance continues to reverberate in the hearts and minds of those teenage boys she left behind, and that losing her and everything she represented placed a sad coda on every thought they’ve had since. --Annie Bostrom