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THE INVISIBLES: A Novel
Releasing August 4th, 2015
In the vein of Meg Donohue and Jennifer Close, comes Cecilia Galante’s adult debut about the complicated and powerful bonds of female friendship–a compelling, moving novel that is told in both the present and the past.
Thrown together by chance as teenagers at Turning Winds Home for Girls, Nora, Ozzie, Monica, and Grace quickly bond over their troubled pasts and form their own family which they dub The Invisibles. But when tragedy strikes after graduation, Nora is left to deal with the horrifying aftermath alone as the other three girls leave home and don’t look back.
Fourteen years later, Nora is living a quiet, single life working in the local library. She is content to focus on her collection of “first lines” (her favorite opening lines from novels) and her dog, Alice Walker, when out-of-the-blue Ozzie calls her on her thirty-second birthday. But after all these years, Ozzie hasn’t called her to wish a happy birthday. Instead, she tells Nora that Grace attempted suicide and is pleading for The Invisibles to convene again. Nora is torn: she is thrilled at the thought of being in touch with her friends, and yet she is hesitant at seeing these women after such a long and silent period of time. Bolstered by her friends at the library, Nora joins The Invisibles in Chicago for a reunion that sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will change each of their lives forever.
The Invisibles is an unforgettable novel that asks the questions: How much of our pasts define our present selves? And what does it take to let go of some of our most painful wounds and move on?
“Shit, Norster, I can’t believe I actually found you! Monica told me she thought you still lived in Willow Grove, but . . .”
“Monica?” Nora interrupted. “Our Monica?”
“Har-Monica!” Ozzie said, using the nickname they had given her back in high school after Monica had started whistling through her teeth. “Who is doing great, by the way. She has a place in Manhattan now—a penthouse, actually, which I’ve decided not to hold against her. Or the fact that she’s managed to snag herself a billionaire to live there. Can you believe it? Harmonica, living with some Bill Gates guy?” Ozzie laughed. “Anyway, she told me that she thought you still lived in Willow Grove and worked for the library, but she couldn’t be sure. When’s the last time you talked to her, anyway?”
Nora blinked against the sudden onslaught of information.
“Yeah. You two talk at all?”
“No.” Nora paused. “Why, do you?”
“No.” Ozzie sounded disappointed. “And I haven’t seen her in forever, either. Not since . . . God, I guess not since we all left.” She paused. “What about Grace? You talk to Grace at all?”
“No. Not Grace either.”
But that had been the deal, hadn’t it? They were all going to go and live their own lives and forget everything that happened. Put it behind them. Leave it in the past, Ozzie had said, where it would get smaller and smaller until one day it would just disappear altogether. Except that it hadn’t. At least not for Nora. Twice, just this past summer, she had gotten up in the middle of the night and walked over to the old house with Alice Walker, just to stare at it, to try to remember—or maybe make sense of—all the things that had happened behind those walls. It was an abandoned building now, the yellow paint old and curling off the sides like an old skin, the front porch split in two. But it had once been Turning Winds, a group home for unwanted girls, the temporary residence for Ozzie and Grace and Monica and Nora throughout their last two years of high school, a place that, for a while at least, had afforded them the only sense of safety they had ever known.
After graduation, Nora had been the only one of them to stay in Willow Grove. She hadn’t wanted to leave, hadn’t felt the tug and pull of the outside world the way the others had. Some nights, though, she wished she had. Some nights she wondered if her life would be different if she’d cobbled together the courage to strike out in a similar way, to carve her own path through the vast unknown. What things would she have seen? What would she have done? Who would she have turned into, aside from the wrong person?
Cecilia Galante is the author of several middle grade, young adult and adult novels. She also teaches 8th grade English at Wyoming Seminary Prep School, and teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Wilkes University.