Imaginary Girls is Nova Ren Suma’s (Dani Noir) second novel. I’m finding it hard to explain what it’s about, so I’ll give you the beginning and maybe a few comments from the book flap. Fourteen year old Chloe idolizes her nineteen year old sister Ruby, as well she should. Ruby practically raised her. Ruby would do anything to protect her and is also proud of her. Swimming with friends one night down at the reservoir created to provide water for New York City, Ruby brags that Chloe can swim the width of the reservoir and come back with a souvenir from Olive, the town that was drowned in order to create the reservoir. Halfway across, Chloe tires and as she loses strength, a rowboat magically appears. She grabs on and as she feels around the boat, she realizes there’s a body in it…a classmate, London.
That’s as much as I’m going to tell you.
On the back of the book jacket, Nancy Werlin calls is “A surreal little nightmare in book form.” Aimee Bender calls it “eerie and gripping…” The book flap says “…a masterfully distorted vision of family…” If this doesn’t have you totally confused…
Suffice it to say, Suma does a masterful job. I like the way she writes. It’s descriptive and literary. You can visualize the characters, the setting, the action. You constantly wonder what’s going to happen next. Yes, it is surreal. It is eerie. But I had to keep on reading.
For an out of the ordinary book, it’s Imaginary Girls.