Bound by Antonya Nelson
In Novel on October 13, 2010 at 11:33 pm
Wichita, Kansas, like most of the Midwest, doesn’t tend to have a reputation as an especially interesting place: certainly not where people long to escape to. It tends to be thought of as boring, with fairly boring people. Catherine Deplaines grew up there, and did everything she could to add some excitement to her life. She ran around with Misty Mueller–the girl your parents hope you don’t become friends with. Misty lived right near the scene of a serial killer’s latest strike. Catherine and Misty got drunk, tried drugs, stayed up all night. They became good at being bad. Now, Catherine is 40 and married to an older man–Oliver, and Misty is lying dead in her car, having flown off of a snowy Colorado road. As it turns out, in her will, Misty has left her teenaged daughter, Cattie, to Catherine (yes, named after the friend). Also, Oliver is maintaining a relationship with a “sweetheart,” and he’s doing it well. And the serial killer has made a re-appearance. There’s a lot going on here. What’s remarkable is that Nelson makes this all seem pretty normal—pretty easy to relate to. You realize that really, we all just need a “normal” to break free from.