The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard

The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard
Published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins

Sixteen-year-old Nora Lindell has gone missing, and everyone in her town is left shaken, scared, and imagining the worst. The neighborhood boys, more than anyone else, create stories in their minds about what happened to Nora, fixating on her disappearance throughout much of their lives.

The Fates Will Find Their Way is quite an interesting novel. The book is told in the collective first person (“we” instead of “I”) which was probably my favorite thing about it. I saw this device work well in The Weird Sisters, and it worked well here too. The fact that the neighborhood boys are telling this story, which is more about them than about Nora really, in this collective voice, created an alluring, atmospheric quality that I find difficult to explain, but one that I really enjoyed.

Unfortunately, I wound up being disappointed by almost everything else about this book. The novel was much more about the boys (and later, men) than it was about Nora, and I just didn’t quite get why these guys were so obsessed with her. They would create elaborate schemes in their minds as to Nora’s whereabouts, to the point where sometimes I would forget that the scenarios being described were not reality. It was just … strange. And I wasn’t particularly interested in all the drama these guys created and described – I found myself being annoyed by all the “noise” I guess you could say. What I really wanted was a story about Nora, and what I got was a story about a bunch of self-centered teenage boys who were strangely fixated on one particular person from their pasts.

I listened to the audiobook of The Fates Will Find Their Way and I must admit that I think I would have liked it better in print. The narrator had a very deep, monotone voice – the kind of voice that could have easily put me to sleep if I let it. I did feel like the quality of the writing was very good, so perhaps if I read the book in print I would have had a better experience with it.

While I didn’t enjoy much about The Fates Will Find Their Way, I can appreciate what the author was going for with this read. The quality of the writing is very high, and the style gives the book a compelling, interesting angle with which to view the events within. I know that other bloggers felt more positive toward the novel than I did, so perhaps you might enjoy the book more than I did.

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10 thoughts on “The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard

  1. I’m chuckling because I was planning on writing the review for this today sometime. I read this in print, and I think you may be right, it was the way to go. I will most likely make this a five star read for me. It really wasn’t about Nora, it was about high school, and friendships, and the delicate chemistry between the boys and the girls, and the innocent hope that nothing bad happened to a girl they once knew. I was so there. I love the collective voice, which works perfect for this group of narrators. Boys are like one unified group in high school! One big living, breathing mass of testosterone. I loved the wistful tone of a middle-aged adult looking back. Now I just need to get all that into a review somehow!

    1. You are totally right about the fact that this book was definitely not about what I thought it would be about! And LOL about high school boys – so true. I definitely think that Pittard captured that perfectly in the book but I think the fact that I read it in audio made it so unenjoyable for me. Plus I read it in a ton of short spurts – 20 or 30 mins at a time max – and probably would have liked it more had I just sat down and read the darn thing in a few sittings. Oh well!

  2. Sandy gave me a copy of this one, I think, at some point, but I haven’t read it yet. I have heard others say some of the same things that you mention about the book, so it will be interesting to read it and see what I think of it. I think if I understand right away that this is not going to be a book about Nora, but instead the boys, things will go a lot better for me. Thanks for the excellent and penetrating review on this one!

    1. I will definitely be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this one. It has the blogosphere quite divided I’ve noticed – many lovers but many haters too. LOL.

  3. This sounds awfully much like The Virgin Suicides, though, doesn’t it? It used the first-person plural as well, to talk about girls dying from the neighbors’ perspective…

    1. I haven’t read The Virgin Suicides so I can’t make that connection myself but I have heard that from other people too. I’d be interested to see what you think of this one given the fact that you may be able to compare the two.

    2. I clicked over from my google reader to comment the same thing!!! (And Heather, you must read Virgin Suicides! Though I read it as a teenager, I think I’d enjoy it as an adult too)

  4. I read somewhere else too how it was weird that it was more about the other characters rather than her. I’m thinking being fully aware of that ahead of time might make the read a little better? It still sounds pretty good, especially with the good writing!

    1. Yes I thought it was strange, although I guess that’s what happens when you go into a book with a certain expectation in mind. Had I not expected anything, I wouldn’t have been so disappointed!

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