On the night of her high school graduation, Kathryn Campbell sits around a bonfire with her four closest friends, including the beautiful but erratic Jennifer. “I’ll be fine,” Jennifer says, as she walks away from the dying embers and towards the darkness of the woods. She never came back.
Ten years after Jennifer’s unexplained disappearance, Kathryn is a grad-school dropout living in Virginia, stuck in a dead-end writing job and marriage. She has few close friends; most people have learned not to depend on her. When she decides to leave her husband, she ships her boxes to her mother’s house in Bangor, Maine. She has nowhere else to go.
When Kathryn returns home, her former classmates are preparing for their ten-year reunion. Old questions about graduation night surface. Jennifer begins to dominate Kathryn’s life, just as she did in high school. Enigmatic and troubled, Jennifer had always depended on Kathryn’s devotion and asked for sacrifices. A decade after Jennifer walked into the woods alone, Kathryn decides that she must follow her friend’s lead, one last time.
Involving herself in the daily rhythms of small-town life, Kathryn begins an investigation into her past. She renews contacts with old friends and teachers, using her skills as a journalist to reconstruct the life that she and Jennifer shared. Kathryn knows that she must examine what she knew about her friend, and what she didn’t. She must decide what she is willing to risk to know the truth. She must decide what her own future is worth. With nothing left to lose, she is determined to answer one simple question: What ever happened to Jennifer Pelletier?