When Pen finds a young woman on the floor of a college bathroom in the throes of a seizure, stiff and incoherent, she is frightened and runs out to find help. Grabbing the first guy walking by, she drags Jason into the women’s room and he immediately recognizes that Cat is having an epileptic seizure. Soon Cat is fine, and rather than being embarrassed, she’s intrigued by her rescuers.
And so begins a friendship among the three of them that is nearly impenetrable by outsiders, and that carries them happily and faithfully through their senior year. When they are getting ready to graduate, however, Cat — who is the recognized though not necessary acknowledged core of the trio — makes a departure in an unexpected way, leaving Jason and Pen to find footing as a duo. Without Cat, they can’t seem to make it, and an unfortunate incident drives them apart.
Years later, both Pen and Jason receive an email from Cat out of the blue, asking them to come to the upcoming 10-year reunion of their college class, where she will find them. So begins both the mystery of Cat’s disappearance and the unraveling of the past. The mystery keeps the pages turning, but the revealing of the past and what it means to be connected to the people who really matter in your life gives this novel its depth and character.
Beautifully written, this lovely novel will have readers reconsidering the people in their lives who go and who stay behind, making for some thoughtful and reflective book club discussions.
William Morrow/HarperCollins; ISBN 978-0-06167-088-6; $14.99.