I think about how Simone offered me the choice to stay or go—and how it so easily could have gone the other way. For a moment, I wonder what life would look like had I gone down the other path.
I’m a sucker for “Sliding Doors”-style stories. Even though much of the time, they don’t work for me, the concept of one decision or moment being the tipping point for a series of divergent events intrigues me. I guess, philosophically-speaking, I believe there’s something to that notion.
Because of that, I was excited to learn that Suzanne Young—who’s novel The Program was a real surprise for me this summer—co-wrote a novel with Cat Patrick, Just Like Fate, examining this very concept.
The novel introduces Caroline, a teenager who’s beloved grandmother, with whom she lives, is hospitalized with a stroke. She’s been at her bedside, panicky when she discovers that Gram won’t recover. All she can think of is escape, and her best friend provides just the chance by inviting her out to a party. At this point, the story diverges into two paths: “Stay” and “Go.”