Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by  Joyce Carol Oates

Merissa, Hannah, Nadia, Chloe and (Katrina) Tink have been best friends at their very exclusive high school.  Tink is the leader, even to the extent that they call themselves Tink Inc.  Everyone is intimidated by Tink, a former child actress, who says and does outrageous things.  But as seniors, the group needs to carry on without Tink because she committed suicide.  

The story is told in three parts:  first from Merissa- the perfect one, the one who was accepted early by Brown University;  the new lead in the school play; the one whose family is falling apart; the one who cuts herself to have enough pain to forget the rest.  

The middle section features Tink, multi-talented, charming, exasperating, enigmatic; now gone, with some of her secrets.  

Nadia is the last voice, a girl who is now called the school slut because of an incident when her drink was altered. Nadia now fixates on her science teacher as her savior.  To all the girls in her inner circle, Tink is still present- they have dreams about her, wonder how she would handle a situation, even hear whispers from her.  These characters will stay with you long after you finish the novel.

We are left wondering about many peripheral characters who are intriguing but dropped:  Colin, who acts like he has deep problems; Virgil, the science geek from Budapest.  Even Chloe, one of Tink’s inner circle, is poorly fleshed out.

And there are still perhaps two or three things I forgot to put in the review….

For mature 14 up

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