Author: Alison Espach
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co | Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
Book Description: 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
The summer before Sally Holt starts the 8th grade begins as a gloriously uneventful one, full of family trips to the beach and long afternoons at the local pool with her older sister Kathy, which they mostly use as an excuse to ogle Billy Barnes, who works the concession stand there. A rising senior and local basketball star, Billy has been an unending source of intrigue for both girls since he jumped off the school roof in fifth grade, and their fascination with him is one of the few things the increasingly different sisters have in common. By summer’s end Billy and Kathy are an item—an unthinkable stroke of luck that ends in an even more unthinkable tragedy.
Set over the course of fifteen years, Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance is narrated by Sally as she addresses Kathy before, during and after Kathy’s death. We watch as Kathy’s absence creates a gaping hole that only Billy—now firmly off limits to Sally—understands and might possibly begin to fill. Charting years of their shared history and missed connections, Notes is both a breathtaking love story between two broken people who are unexplainably, inconveniently drawn to each other, and a wry, sharply observant coming of age story that looks at the ways the people we love the most continue to shape our lives long after they’re gone.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review: This entire book is a love letter to Sally’s sister Kathy who was in a tragic accident in her junior year of high school. Written approximately 15 year after Sally reflects in the events leading to the incident and the aftermath of her and her family’s life.
Sally details all her life and all of her inner monologue that goes along with it. We witness a broken family as they try to pick up the pieces. Sally also deals with her love for Kathy’s boyfriend who is just as broken if not more than Sally.
This read’s like a diary most of the time. There are really no chapter breaks at least it felt that way in the Audio version. Reader’s will feel that you are entirely in Sally’s mind, a sad, broken woman, especially as she surpasses her sister in milestones.
This book has started to show up on lot’s of summer reading lists and it is entirely worth the hype. There is sadness, but a lot humor that Espach provides. So glad I received a copy of this book.
Thank you NetGalley, Henry Holt and Macmillan Audio for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.