Brad Mitchell’s life is falling apart. His marriage is in limbo. The woman he thought he would marry, Kara, died from an overdose. An old friend keeps trying to convince him that Kara was actually murdered. And he has started to see double. Literally. When Kara — or, rather, her ghost — returns to Brad, his past and present blur into a fog.
Kara Was Here tells the story of a failed actress whose life and sudden death are only partially understood; her teenage sister, Gwen, who starts taking dangerous steps into Kara’s secret world; Kara’s college friend, Margot, who went from being the football team’s sexy secret weapon to the solitary proprietress of a baked goods business; and Kara’s one-time lover, Brad, who stands with one foot in the past and one foot in an increasingly uncertain future.
In the spirit of Clare Messud’s The Emperor’s Children or Hannah Pittard’s The Fates Will Find Their Way, Conescu’s novel is at once a mystery about the dangers of aging into adulthood, an exploration of truth and perception, and a story about the ways we keep those we love with us — the people we’ve lost, the people we no longer see, and the people we used to be.
As the point of view shifts among [the] three players in Kara’s dramatic life, the reader sees how the respective lives of the three survivors become inextricably linked and impacted by Kara’s past and her spectral present... the characters are sympathetic and readers will welcome their ultimate successes.
Conescu’s latest is a light, engaging novel about a man, his deceased ex-girlfriend, and the mystery of her death... Conescu’s characters are believable, and he carries off Kara’s ghost scenes without melodrama or portent. Neither a true ghost story nor a grisly murder mystery, this novel is a solid, entertaining read.