Why You Can't Be Angry At Yourself

At the center of Julie Buntin’s debut novel is the kind of coming-of-age friendship that goes beyond camaraderie, into a deeper bond that forges identity; it’s friendship as a creative act, a collaborative work of imagination, and what happens when that collaboration — terribly, inevitably — falls apart.

The story of this particular friendship is told retrospectively by Cat, now 30-something in Brooklyn, drawn back to her youth in rural northern Michigan, where she found Marlena and her life, effectively, began. We know from the outset that within a year of their meeting, Marlena will drown. What we discover is just how haunted it will leave Cat, how full of questions.

At the center of Julie Buntin’s debut novel is the kind of coming-of-age friendship that goes beyond camaraderie, into a deeper bond that forges identity; it’s friendship as a creative act, a collaborative work of imagination, and what happens when that collaboration — terribly, inevitably — falls apart.

The story of this particular friendship is told retrospectively by Cat, now 30-something in Brooklyn, drawn back to her youth in rural northern Michigan, where she found Marlena and her life, effectively, began. We know from the outset that within a year of their meeting, Marlena will drown. What we discover is just how haunted it will leave Cat, how full of questions.

At the center of Julie Buntin’s debut novel is the kind of coming-of-age friendship that goes beyond camaraderie, into a deeper bond that forges identity; it’s friendship as a creative act, a collaborative work of imagination, and what happens when that collaboration — terribly, inevitably — falls apart.

The story of this particular friendship is told retrospectively by Cat, now 30-something in Brooklyn, drawn back to her youth in rural northern Michigan, where she found Marlena and her life, effectively, began. We know from the outset that within a year of their meeting, Marlena will drown. What we discover is just how haunted it will leave Cat, how full of questions.

John Rosania