We Wish You Luck
Words have a power to create or to destroy, and that is the heart of the memorable We Wish You Luck by Caroline Zancan (Local Girls). The students in a low residency MFA program narrate in a collective voice the story of three who fascinate the others: Leslie, Hannah and Jimmy. "We'll forgive you for forgetting any of the rest of us, but it's important you remember these three. We aren't arrogant enough to consider ourselves more than the story's background at worst, its keepers at best." Simone, a bestselling author and visiting professor, butts heads with one of these three, leading to a series of acts of retribution that will ruin multiple lives and leave none of them unchanged.
Zancan also turns the spotlight onto other students for brief episodes, which helps to immerse readers in the insular world of a campus almost deserted during academic breaks. However, the students outside that trio primarily serve as a Greek chorus, which skillfully builds suspense with mentions of who will not be back, and futures that might have been but will no longer be, setting the stage for the revelations as to why. The collective narration has a nebulous quality, sometimes stating that "we" don't all remember events the same way or agree on exactly when something happened. The result realistically evokes the feeling of a distant memory or a dream. This is an engrossing story of friendship, creativity and grief. --Kristen Allen-Vogel, information services librarian at Dayton Metro Library