Cecilia Galante’s adult debut, The Invisibles (August 2015), has all the marks of a great summer read. It’s central premise and intriguing secret keeps you turning the pages. What makes this book so enjoyable is its relatable and realistic characters. Drawing upon her own experiences growing up in a religious cult that separated children from their parents, the author built an inspiring story about a group of girlfriends who shared more than just a home.
For the last two years of high school, Ozzie, Grace, Monica, and Nora lived at the Turning Winds, a home for unwanted girls. Something happened there when they were just seventeen years old, though, to make them split up, promise to stay apart, and lead their own lives. Nora is the only one who stayed in the same town as the group home. Ozzie moved away and is married with three kids. Monica has a penthouse in Manhattan with her billionaire boyfriend. What about Grace? Grace is in trouble and asks everyone to reunite in Chicago. They all decide to come to her rescue and this is where the story blossoms.
Fifteen years have passed since their time at Turning Winds. They’ve changed in many ways and are still the same in other ways. The question running throughout this novel was how much influence does someone’s past have on their future? I thought this theme was a bit too obviously drawn out and overly stated throughout the book. I found it distracting at times.
Although all the women are relatable in different ways, Ozzie was my favorite. An outspoken woman who reads palms for a living, she speaks the truth no matter its impact. I admired her honesty toward those she loved and how she challenged her friends to face realities they didn’t want to see or couldn’t fathom.
It took a lot of time to build up to the final reveal of why Nora was left behind at the group home all those years ago, but it was worth the wait. The secret answered a lot of questions
This is an enjoyable story about growing up, friendships, and finding happiness. I recommend it especially to those who enjoy women’s fiction.
Reviewed by Libby Bridges
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