Boasting poetic, emotional prose, McNamara tells the story of Wren, a girl taking a gap year off between high school and college after a bought of tragedy strikes in her life. She’s moved to Maine to live with her father, and while surrounded by a snowy New England winter, begins to stitch her life back together.
Wren is rather damaged in this novel and is often not entirely likeable, but she managed to grow on me. Most other characters in this novel, however, I loved on first read. Her artistic father, Mary (a RISD student on fellowship and working with him), and of course, Cal (a boy taking some time off from college for his own reasons). Cal walks into Wren’s life when she wants nothing more than to be alone but doesn’t realize quite how much she needs someone. He’s struggling with his own demons and their story of healing each other is both heart-wrenching and honest. This is a story of loss and grief and recovery, and the sometimes stilted, blunt voice, balanced with gorgeous moments of insight and prose are the icing on the cake. If you like Nina LaCour’s work, specifically HOLD STILL, I think you’ll enjoy this one!
Originally posted here