Jessie had said they should go at midnight. 'It’s the gods’ time,' she said, narrowing her eyes dramatically. 'Anything could happen.’
It’s the 1980s, and in their small coastal town, Ali and her best friend, Jessie, are on the cusp. With ‘The Golden Book’, a journal of incantation and risk taking as their record, they begin to chafe at the restrictions put on them by teachers, parents, each other. Then Jessie suffers a devastating accident, and both their lives are forever changed.
When Ali is an adult, with a young daughter herself, the news of Jessie’s death brings back the intensity of that summer, forcing her to reckon with her own role in what happened to Jessie so many years ago.
As this stunning debut moves back and forth in time, and Ali’s secrets are forced into the light, Kate Ryan asks profound questions about responsibility and blame, and, ultimately, about love.