Full summary: In the wake of tragedy, four former best friends and classmates reunite to honor the memory of the fifth and final member of their old group, but narrator Virgil fears that the only things capable of keeping the now very different people together are memories...memories and, perhaps, Carolina. Hardly fifteen, the beautiful, wild, and broken Carolina has not spoken since the car accident that claimed her older sister Juliet's life- except to Virgil, Cooper, Ty, and Willow. After they happen upon her one night, barefoot and bloody and running from the graveyard, and begin to reintroduce her to a life that can never look the same for long, they are drawn into Carolina's world-and tragedy- once again.

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There was a single slab of marble, and it lied, "Forever".

And in this false forever, there was this: the woman in a beaded black veil on her knees in the mud, screaming something, sobbing something else: the howling wind rippling the long thirsty grass in waves, proving somehow that souls on rusty hinges were still clinging to the some fifty staring soaked corpses that were gathered in the dim gray light: the rain, the Reaper's dearest slave, driving down in piercing silver needles: the church bell over the hill, tolling once, twice, twelve times.

That was Juliet's funeral.

Cooper was on one side of me, somber but conspicuously dryer than the majority of us. I'd never seen him in a suit before, not really; it was several sizes too large on him, and made clothes-hangers of his broad shoulders. His stare was straight and steady, despite the fact that everything in our lives wasn't. Past him, I could just catch Ty's profile, sniffling shamelessly, trumpeting into his sleeve and returning the favor whenever a fellow attendee shot him a dirty look. Then, lean and lovely, Willow stood to my right, and though the thin black dress clinging to her caramel frame was all that was keeping her heart corralled in, her head was held high, her chin up, like always. It had certainly been a long time since the five—no, four, now—of us were together. Now we never would be again.

Up above, in the clouds too close for comfort, there was no trace of a silver lining.

Growing restless in the rain and the dreary preacher's speech, Willow's towering heels were giving her a boost in height that she didn't need. She stood level with me at six-one quite easily. It occurred to me then, how easy it would be for me to sink the six feet into the soft muddy ground and bear Juliet's coffin back up, if only to complete the reunion. Strange, the things we think of, when that one person is no longer there to take the space they once held. Her ghost was still so loud, laughing and lurking in the trees just ahead, in the plots just behind. Not that I believed in such things.

However, when that call came an hour before dawn less than a week before, I hadn't believed it either. Yet here we stood.

When the ceremony ended, and the crowd of brooding black crows began to clear, the four of us headed towards the gravel lot on the far side of the cemetery, bound by an unspoken agreement to stay together. As we walked, I kept stealing glances at the funeral-goers, wondering after them. Were they all here—her favorite third cousin, her heartbroken boy from three summers back, the girl with black-rimmed eyes who sulked across her street? Was the world really off-kilter, or just his part of town, rocked by her ripples, stained by the loss of her smile, that perfect white scythe of a sinning saint?

"So that's her, then?" Ty asked, breaking my train of thought, not bothering to lower his voice. I took comfort in this slippery notion that not everything had changed. Ty had always been loud, Willow had always been tough, Cooper had always been, well, Cooper, and Juliet...

Had always been so alive.

"Who?" I asked, and he jerked his head to where Juliet's family stood, the woman with the muddy knees and her husband with a face of ash.

"From the accident."

I followed his gaze, and almost dropped my stance on ghosts.

Juliet stood there at the foot of her own grave, swaying and soaked in the rainstorm. She was the same as I remembered her, with closed ruby lips and long light hair, pale as a phantom. Beautiful, yes, with silent sky eyes and the delicate porcelain skin tone of a skeleton. Her sharp black heels had sunk into the mud; the territorial earth clung to her toes and climbed her long legs—too long, I realized suddenly. Juliet had never been that tall, nor so thin. Too, this girl seemed younger than I'd last seen Juliet, at eighteen-and-three-quarters.

"Who?" Willow managed to repeat, because the four of us were now staring at her, at this gorgeous and tragic apparition in Her image.

And as Ty opened his mouth and answered, she snapped her head up and met our gaze across the graveyard, a piercing challenge of brightest blue.

"The sister."

Seven days. That's how long it had been since Juliet was taken from us in a pair of blaring headlights on a long dark road. That's how long it took for one Spade sister to disappear, leaving our lives wide open, and the other to come and push them wider still, ripping the seams.

There was a monsoon and a marble slab, and then, on the seventh day, there was Carolina, prompting even God to want to rest.