“These are stories of magical lyricism, contemporary in their exploration of the obsessions of girls and young women, mythic in their scope and mystery. Remarkable.” — Joyce Carol Oates
Lyrical, intimate, and incisive, Tell Me Who We Were explores the inner worlds of girls and women, the relationships we cherish and betray, and the transformations we undergo in the simple act of living.
It begins with a drowning. One day Mr. Arcilla, the romance language teacher at Briarfield, an all-girls boarding school, is found dead at the bottom of Reed Pond. Young and handsome, the object of much fantasy and fascination, he was adored by his students. For Lilith and Romy, Evie and Claire, Nellie and Grace, he was their first love, and their first true loss.
In this extraordinary collection, Kate McQuade explores the ripple effect of one transformative moment on six lives, witnessed at a different point in each girl’s future. Throughout these stories, these bright, imaginative, and ambitious girls mature into women, lose touch and call in favors, achieve success and endure betrayal, marry and divorce, have children and struggle with infertility, abandon husbands and remain loyal to the end.