Thrown together by chance as teenagers at Turning Winds Home for Girls, Nora, Ozzie, Monica, and Grace quickly bond over their troubled pasts and form their own family which they dub The Invisibles. But when tragedy strikes after graduation, Nora is left to deal with the horrifying aftermath alone as the other three girls leave home and don’t look back.
Fourteen years later, Nora is living a quiet, single life working in the local library. She is content to focus on her collection of “first lines” (her favorite opening lines from novels) and her dog, Alice Walker, when out-of-the-blue Ozzie calls her on her thirty-second birthday. But after all these years, Ozzie hasn’t called her to wish a happy birthday. Instead, she tells Nora that Grace attempted suicide and is pleading for The Invisibles to convene again. Nora is torn: she is thrilled at the thought of being in touch with her friends, and yet she is hesitant at seeing these women after such a long and silent period of time. Bolstered by her friends at the library, Nora joins The Invisibles in Chicago for a reunion that sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will change each of their lives forever.
I really enjoyed this book, it was quite an emotional experience for me. Watching each of the women try to deal with their childhood scars was at times draining, but mostly a beautiful look at friendship and self discovery.
Told from Nora’s perspective, we still get a great picture of the other three women, both as children and adults. While each of their individual circumstances aren’t anything I’ve ever dealt with personally, it’s hard not to identify with various aspects their personalities. I found it harder to process their childhoods than their adult lives, without giving any of the plot away, the themes of those years are pretty universal experiences.
I really enjoyed how their shared past was woven into the tale of their mostly-separate futures, and how it built up to the final reveal. A more observant person might pick it a lot earlier than I did, but for me, it came a little out of the blue and while it wasn’t jarring, it was a little surprising.
Overall it’s a delightful exploration of how pasts can affect futures – or, more accurately, how we let our past affect our future, and I strongly recommend it for anyone that doesn’t mind having their heartstrings tugged.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.