“Heartbreaking. This book is as fragmented and rich as a life.
Told in the Before and After of her sister’s death, Sally is both melancholic and prickly as she reflects on the closeness she shared with her sister as well as on the things that made them so different. Loss and pain permeate Sally’s coming of age, but a cathartic sense of humor and love keep both her and the reader from being overwhelmed by it.
Through Sally’s coming-of-age, Espach explores the permanence and loneliness of grief, the yearning for someone who gets it, varying ways in which people grieve, and the day-to-day living that occurs while someone’s inner world is falling apart.”
From Alison Espach, author of the New York Times Editor’s Choice novel The Adults, comes a dazzlingly unconventional love story for readers of Ask Again, Yes and Tell the Wolves I’m Home.
For much of her life, Sally Holt has been mystified by the things her older sister, Kathy, seems to have been born knowing. Kathy has answers for all of Sally’s questions about life, about love, and about Billy Barnes, a rising senior and local basketball star who mans the concession stand at the town pool. The girls have been fascinated by Billy ever since he jumped off the roof in elementary school, but Billy has never shown much interest in them until the summer before Sally begins eighth grade. By then, their mutual infatuation with Billy is one of the few things the increasingly different sisters have in common. Sally spends much of that summer at the pool, watching in confusion and excitement as her sister falls deeper in love with Billy—until a tragedy leaves Sally’s life forever intertwined with his.
Opening in the early nineties and charting almost two decades of shared history and missed connections, Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance is both a breathtaking love story about two broken people who are unexplainably, inconveniently drawn to each other and a wryly astute coming-of-age tale brimming with unexpected moments of joy.