The Invisibles by Cecilia Galante
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 4th, 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
‘We’ll choose to remain invisible. To everyone except each other . . .’
“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?”
Note: I was provided with a copy of the book for my participation in this TLC book tour and my honest review. All opinions expressed here are completely honest and completely my own.
The Invisibles is a powerful tale of friendship, secrets, and the power of the past. This crew of misfits hasn’t spoken in years. Fourteen years. Not a peep. It was a terrible secret that drove them apart, but that same secret still binds them together. And while that secret plays an important role in the story, it’s really a symbol of things much bigger—love, friendship, family, the past, forgiveness, acceptance, regret… all these things and more.
I loved The Invisibles—both the characters and the novel as a whole. As these quirky women each try to move on and live their lives, they realize there’s an unbreakable bond tying them together that they can’t shake: history. And try as they might, they can’t out run it. They have to face it. Over a decade after their time together, when one of them is hurting, they band together around her. This dredges up the past and so many old memories—some good, some… not so much. We see all this through the eyes of Nora. Out of the four women, she is the most quiet, the most subdued. She’s closed herself off to the world—and this includes even the Invisibles.
When they come together again, it’s a strange feeling. These women feel both like strangers, and like coming home. There are so many layers to these women and their lives. As the story goes on, another peels back. This unraveling goes on right until the end, and this pacing fits the story just right.
I loved the characters in this book. They are each so unique, and so fleshed out. Each has baggage that, try as they might, they can’t seem to get rid of. They are fun, funny, and flawed.
I sped through this book, always needing to know more, never wanting to leave the gang behind. I loved getting to know these women and learn about their lives and their pasts. Not going to lie, I even shed a few tears at the end! I hesitate to describe this book as Women’s Fiction because I think that might unjustly pigeonhole it. However, it could be described as such. But it’s also much more than that.
I must mention though—trigger warning for abuse and abortion.
Verdict: I loved this book. It was the perfect choice for a weekend at the cottage!
Content warning: Scenes of, and allusions to, abuse and abortion. There is also some mild to explicit language.
About the Author
Cecilia Galante is the author of three young adult novels, three middle-grade books, and a children’s chapter-book series. She is the recipient of many awards, including a NAIBA Book of the Year and an Oprah’s Teen Read Selection for her first novel, The Patron Saint of Butterflies. Her books have been translated into Japanese, Turkish, and Polish.
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.