At the age of 13, in the summer of 1938, Paul Moreaux discovers he can "fade" -- that is, cause himself and his clothing to disappear from the sight of others at will. He lives in the small Massachusetts town of Monument, in the working-class Canadian Catholic quarter known as Frenchtown. At first, he is thrilled with the things he can do -- spy on his beloved but loose Aunt Rosanna, and the wealthy twins across town, Emerson and Page Winslow -- but there are larger problems swirling about him: The comb factory where
his father is employed goes on strike, and Rosanna's lover Rudolphe Toubert is a brutal hoodlum who controls much of the criminal activity in town. Paul also learns that his "gift" brings him knowledge about others and himself that he wishes he never had.
Fade has two narrators. The first-person account by Paul turns out to be an unpublished manuscript discovered in 1988 by Susan Roget, the granddaughter of Paul's cousin Jules. Susan is working for Meredith Martin, the literary agent who represented Paul after he became a successful writer, until his death in 1967. Together with Meredith and her grandfather Jules, a retired police detective, Susan is driven to figure out whether this last book of Paul's (which includes at least one murder in its plot) is one last novel, or a memoir/confession.
This report prepared by David Loftus