How well do we ever know someone?
That’s the question at the heart of this novel, coming out in early June from Crown Publishers. I got my early galley from Net Galley and I’m so glad I did! I just loved this book and couldn’t put it down. In this novel, Kate “inherits” the journals of her close friend Elizabeth, who died in a plane crash shortly before the tragedy of 9/11. Elizabeth left behind a grieving husband and three young children. Kate is forced to re-examine her own marriage and family life as she examines Elizabeth’s through her writing. What was Elizabeth doing on that final trip alone? What secrets was she hiding? How well did any of them really know Elizabeth, her past, her wants and desires? How well do we ever truly know someone? Kate ponders these questions as she somewhat obsessively reads through Elizabeth’s life, from girlhood to her untimely end, all the while dealing with her own post 9/11 anxieties.
I really really enjoyed this novel. The writing is solid and the characters developed and easy to relate to. It felt a bit like a Jodi Picoult or Anita Shreve novel in that once I started, I was completely absorbed and couldn’t put it down! I am excited to read that Ms. Bernier lives in a nearby town, so my chances of hearing her speak in the future are pretty good. This is her first novel.
Thanks, Net Galley and Crown Publishers for my copy!