Megan Abbott meets M.O. Walsh in a 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.
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.
From Christine Lennon:
Everyone has her own version of a proud parenting moment, some milestone her children reach that makes the place where it happened almost sacred ground. For some, it’s a grassy field where their kid scored a first goal, or a school gym where they sunk their first basket. Here in Los Angeles, it could be a beach where their brave little dude rode his first wave. Every time you drive by it you get misty-eyed with pride and nostalgia.
For me, it happened at the West Hollywood Public Library.
The summer before they started 1st grade, I drove my twins to the beautiful new building—a modern, clean, and surprisingly peaceful place right in the center of this freeway choked sprawl—to get their library cards. They each took an application, and a stubby little pencil in their tiny hands, and filled out their name, address, and birthdate. They beamed with pride as the librarian handed them the rectangles of plastic, which was the first form of ID they could stuff into the slot of their Velcro wallets. In a way, it was a ticket to freedom and adventure, second only to their passport in its ability to take them to faraway places. It was a badge of honor.
It also made me remember my first library, inside of Antioch Park in Merriam, Kansas. My mom would drop me off at the front entrance when she went grocery shopping (it was the late ‘70s when people did that sort of thing) and I would roam the aisles, inhaling the scent of paper and binding glue and dust and letting it sink into my DNA. Like my kids, I wasn’t much for team sports and shin guards. As a family, we prefer swimming in the ocean, quiet hikes and bike rides and civilized tennis matches.
So this was my version of cheering my kids on from the bleachers, watching them fall in love with reading. Every time I drive by it, I remember. On our way out of the door, my son said, “If they gave away awards for reading, I would definitely have a trophy by now.” And I gave him a high five and a pat on the back for his effort (no Gatorade required).
Reading Group Guide: