A debut novel that opens on a scene of dark clouds between past and future storms.
The alternating voices of two young adults, a boy and girl, comprise the book. Their tragic histories are hinted at and slowly revealed amid the daily scenes of social awkwardness in high school halls, classrooms and schoolyard. Nastya Kashnikov (an alias) is a newcomer at the school. She was a child piano prodigy who felt like she had lost her identity when her hand was crushed and she could no longer play the Hayden, Bach and Mozart pieces she excelled at during a precocious childhood. The story of an assault that nearly killed her is her secret. At first, she couldn’t remember the details of what happened, couldn’t answer the questions from the police detective or the trauma therapist, and then, when it all came back, she refused to speak about any of it. Josh Bennett is the tragic young man who lost his family before his 18th birthday. While he longs for the ghosts of his family to visit him, he lacks interest in the living people who want to reach out to him. The book takes the reader on a slow journey with a lot of twists and turns. Along the way, Josh and Nastya form relationships with others that will help pass the time, but these are no match for the support the two will eventually offer each other.
Promising but repetitive. Too many scenes convey the same basic feelings and do not move the story along.