Nik is an eccentric art student obsessed with painting his dancer girlfriend, Jennifer. When one day she inexplicably disappears, Nik’s world is shattered. Determined to find her, he embarks on a cross-country journey following a scant trail of clues. He doesn’t anticipate how far he’ll have to travel, what he’ll do when he runs out of money, or the fact that an intimidating stranger is looking for Jennifer, too.
Nik and Jennifer fade into the background of their own tale, surfacing now and again like ghosts as the rest of their mysterious story unfolds through a series of chance encounters with intricately linked strangers. An English professor coping with a dying mother, a rebellious teenage girl, a debt-ridden civil servant, a disillusioned ex-anarchist documentary filmmaker, and other disparate characters who encounter the separate couple as they circle one another in a tentative dance.
Circle of Stones reveals as much about the grief and the grinding frustrations of contemporary life as it does about the pursuit of love at all costs.
Suzanne Alyssa Andrew grew up in Campbell River, a coastal community on Northern Vancouver Island. She studied at Carleton University in Ottawa, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts degree in English. Her work has appeared in various publications including the Toronto Star, Taddle Creek, and Broken Pencil. Suzanne lives in Toronto.
Andrew delivers her tale through the voices and private dramas of her supporting cast.
Circle of Stones is a promising debut containing familiar settings, a damaged cast, and tight, realistic dialogue. The larger theme surrounding the pursuit of love at all costs works as a satisfying plot device that helps tie the narrative together. Circle of Stones is a quick, appealing read that, in the end, leaves us to ponder the pursuit of our own happiness.