Nora Lindell goes missing on Halloween and is never seen again. Her peers are all hung up on her disappearance, and The Fates will Find Their Way is the story of her exit from the persepective of her male classmates.
This is not your typical mystery novel in the sense that there is no focus on an investigation. We never hear of police involvement really, although surely there must have been some type of investigation. The only viewpoint we hear is that of the boys as they mature into adulthood. Obviously they have no concrete facts, but instead focus on the gossip that abounds. Their imaginations also take hold and they make up different scenarios that could have befallen Nora. Is she dead? Did she escape out west? Is she in India? Does she have children? The novel follows the aftermath of Nora’s disappearance for a decade after the event, so that certain details of her family’s lives afterward are woven into the different contrivances they come up with.
The Fates will Find Their Way was somewhat reminiscent of Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel The Virgin Suicides. The vagueness of the story along with the teen boys narrating the novel seemed very similar to me. It turns out I am not alone, because I googled the two books once I finished this one and realized that I was certainly not the first one to notice the similarities.
The Fates will Find Their Way did not quite reach me in the way The Virgin Suicides did. While Nora definitely had the charm and intrigue that the Lisbon sisters did, the bleary ambiguity in this book made it hard for me to focus. I think another issue I had was the structure of the novel married to the plot of a missing girl. Ambiguity doesn’t always bother me, but when I am reading a mystery I expect to at least have an idea of what happened. I never got that here.
This book still had its merit but I have a feeling that the details will start to be hazy and by the time a few months have passed, I will remember very little about the book except that I found it mediocre.
I read this book as a part of the RIP challenge, although it turned out not to be all that fitting.
I purchased this book from a used book sale.