Megan Abbott meets M.O. Walsh in Christine Lennon's compelling debut novel about a group of friends on the cusp of graduating from college when their lives are irrevocably changed by a brutal act of violence.
For two decades, Elizabeth has tried to escape the ghosts of her past…tried to erase the painful memories…tried to keep out the terrifying nightmares. But twenty years after graduating from the University of Florida, her carefully curated life begins to unravel, forcing her to confront the past she’s tried so hard to forget.
1990s, Gainesville, Florida…
Elizabeth and her two closest friends, Caroline and Ginny, are having the time of their lives in college—binge watching Oprah, flirting for freebies from Taco Bell, and breaking hearts along the way. But without warning, their world is suddenly shattered when a series of horrific acts of violence ravage the campus, changing their lives forever.
Sweeping readers from the exclusive corners of sorority life in the South to the frontlines of the drug-fueled, slacker culture in Manhattan in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, when Elizabeth is forced to acknowledge her role in the death of a friend in order to mend a broken friendship and save her own life, The Drifter is an unforgettable story about the complexities of friendships and the secrets that can ultimately destroy us.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN 0062457578 (ISBN13: 9780062457578)
About the Author
(from the back cover)
Christine Lennon is a Los Angeles-based writer. Before she moved to the West Coast and started her freelance career, she was an editor at W, Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar. Since then, she has written for publications including The New York Times Style Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, W, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Martha Stewart Living, Sunset, California Style, Marie Claire, Self, Net-a-Porter's Porter, and The Edit online magazine-- among others. Christine lives in California with her husband, Andrew Reich, and their twins. The Drifter is her first book.
From her perch on the brownstone stoop, Elizabeth lifts up her sunglasses, runs her ring finger along her lower lashes to flick away the welling tears, and glances at her phone to check the time.Betsy is a smart girl who tries to hide her intelligence. While her friend Ginny is a charming bright light that no person can resist, Betsy seems to do all she can to go through life unnoticed and to be as unremarkable as possible. And where Ginny is a bright light, their friend Caroline is darkness-- moody, self-centered and oftentimes unkind.
These three friends are students at the University of Florida during the summer of 1990 when a serial killer sets everyone on edge. After graduation Elizabeth runs off to start a new life in New York with her boyfriend, but she can't escape the nightmares of her past.
This book came along at just the right time. I've been in a bit of a reading slump for a few months, finding it hard to get excited about reading anything, and constantly distracted. This book was a bit of fresh air to clean my reading palate and hopefully get me recommitted once again.
I enjoyed the author’s debut novel. She has an easy-to-read writing style, and good character development. I don’t know whether any of the characters were really “mysteries” to me. The author left me feeling as if I knew the them. While Betsy was likable enough, I think that her boyfriend/husband Gavin was probably my favorite. Sweet and unassuming and very accommodating and understanding, he is the ultimate mate or friend.
I liked how easy this story was to read, as my brain isn't wanting to be challenged right now. I just want to enjoy an easy read and not have to struggle with symbolism, metaphors and big vocabulary words. Plus a good portion of the story took place in my home state of Florida, so I felt at home in the story.
I would like to thank TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour, and to HarperCollins for the opportunity to read this debut novel. Check out the TLC Book Tour website for the full tour schedule:
Tuesday, February 21st: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, February 22nd: she treads softly
Thursday, February 23rd: Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, February 24th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Monday, February 27th: StephTheBookworm
Tuesday, February 28th: Tina Says…
Wednesday, March 1st: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, March 2nd: Ms. Nose in a Book
Monday, March 6th: G. Jacks Writes
Monday, March 6th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Thursday, March 9th: Booked on a Feeling
My final word: Sometimes I was left a little confused over what this story wanted to be: a coming-of-age story about a rootless young woman finding her place in the world, or a murder mystery "whodunit". However it didn't really bother me too much. I was engaged and it kept me wanting to read on, which is the most difficult thing with someone like me who is so easily distracted. The story could be a little light and at times "flimsy" in its structure, confused and sometimes read a bit like a young adult novel. However overall I did really enjoy it, and I would definitely read this author again. I think this would make a great summer beach read, for those dreaming of warmer days ahead!
Barnes and Noble
The Cerebral Girl is a forty-something blogger just digging her way out from under a mountain of books in the deep south of Florida.
I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release.