About Naming the Stars

16-year-old Mary-Louise comes home from swimming lessons one day to find she is absent from family photographs, her bedroom has turned into a linen closet, and all of her possessions have disappeared. More troubling, her family goes on as if she never existed. The only person in town who can actually see her is a boy she calls Fish, a YMCA swimming instructor, but Fish is hiding from a troubled past and the person he sees is entirely different from who she thought she was.

The girl he sees is entirely different from the insecure, unattractive girl Mary-Louise thinks of herself. The teens discover the photo of a spirited, beautiful young woman photographed many years before—Pearl—who exactly resembles the girl Fish sees. The truth about Pearl’s identity is the key to discovering why Mary-Louise has disappeared and why Fish left home, but his fears of being discovered are preventing him from helping Mary-Louise, after all, no one can see or hear her.

This coming-of-age story explores the important and often fragile connection between the roles we play in others’ lives—as siblings, children, friends, and partners—and the unique identity we must find in ourselves.

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