Sloane Crosley is a familiar name to many readers of nonfiction, both for her self-deprecating essay collections and her contributions to the New York Times. Now she lends her insight and sense of humor to the world of fiction in a debut novel, The Clasp.
Kezia, Nathaniel and Victor, three friends from college, are reunited at the extravagant wedding of a mutual friend. Though they have been semi-estranged since graduation, all their college feelings resurface in the present day. Victor harbors feelings for Kezia; Kezia is infatuated with Nathaniel; and Nathaniel is absorbed with himself. Victor, never at his best in social situations, separates from the reception and wakes up to the groom’s mother slapping him the next morning. Her abrupt wake-up call transitions to the story of a valuable necklace that disappeared during the Nazi occupation of France. Consumed with the idea of finding this necklace, Victor sets out on a journey that takes not only him, but also Kezia and Nathaniel, from Miami to New York to France. All three friends experience a level of self-discovery along the way.
Crosley is an innate storyteller and writes with her signature wit and flair. Each character’s flaw—whether it be Victor’s apathy, Kezia’s need to be needed or Nathaniel’s self-absorption—is relatable, and The Clasp speaks to flaws in humanity and friendships in a charming and realistic way. This novel entertains even as it provokes internal examination of one’s own relationships.