In the first line of this novel, its narrator announces that her teenage sister helped kill a local girl. What starts as a fast-paced thriller set in coastal Rhode Island morphs into a chilling novel about class, desperation and young love.
“When I was in eighth grade my sister helped kill another girl.”
So begins Stewart O’Nan’s latest novel, Ocean State, a taut, deeply empathic exploration of a teenage love triangle with devastating consequences.
“In writing the book, I wanted to be able to convey the feeling of what it feels like to be headlong, wildly, in love and how wretched and destroyed you can feel from love,” says O’Nan (ENG’83). “It’s a love story, not a murder story or a thriller.”