Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Testimony by Anita Shreve


Is there anyone out there that hasn't read Anita Shreve? Well, I'm certain that there is but this is one author that I keep coming back to for reliably solid and entertaining women's fiction. It doesn't hurt that I went to hear her speak once, and she seemed like a very nice person, too.

Anita Shreve's latest book, Testimony, will be released next week. Shreve's novel Fortune's Rocks has always been my favorite of her books, but Testimony is right up there. Testimony is the story of a scandal at a New England Boarding school, a sex scandal involving minors, adults, and a videotape that ultimately destroys lives and marriages. In Testimony the reader hears the points of view of everyone, from the headmaster to the participants, their parents and friends - every single person that is affected by what these young people have done. Shreve has the gift of making each of these many characters distinct individuals as she explores their innermost thoughts and motivations. We hear their stories in the context of a person who we never hear from but who is studying the case at the University of Vermont. The voice of the headmaster, Mike, is the one we hear most often and is in many ways the one with the most to hide. We hear from terrified and angry parents who do not understand how and when their children lost their innocence, and wonder what will become of their future. Shreve does an amazing job of making the people who might be seen as the perpetrators seem sympathetic, and the one who seems the victim to be complicit.

I found this intense novel to be an absorbing page turner. I found this to be not just about the ramifications of this particular incident. This is really a commentary on how one choice a person makes or how they spend one hour of their life can have drastic long lasting consequences that can be destructive to many people.

Great news: I will hosting a giveaway of Testimony next week. So come back!

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Also, for those of you you have read my recent post which I later removed...my husband says we have to go or I'll regret it. He's probably right. Feel free to weigh in, though.

21 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I really liked this book, too! I agree that Anita Shreve is a "reliable" author - I always know her books will keep me enthralled.

softdrink said...

Me.

I have never read a Shreve book, and I don't have any of her books in the TBR pile, either. For some reason, she's never really been on my book radar.

violetcrush said...

I haven't read Anita Shreve :)
But i am planning to, someday!!!

Kristen M. said...

Okay, I haven't even heard of Anita Shreve but I tend to read different genres so I guess that I'm looking at different shelves at the bookstore ...

As for the previous post, I guess I would agree with your husband just because maybe something will come up later that explains the kiddo's problems or something and then you would feel forever guilty for withholding DW. And if kiddo is really just a slacker, you probably won't look back 10 years from now, shaking your fist, saying "if only we hadn't gone to Disney World!" It's just one day in an entire lifetime.

BooksPlease said...

I love Anita Shreve's book - Fortune's Rocks and The Last Time They met are my favourites. I think I have all her books, so I must get this one too. I only realised yesterday that she has a new one coming out.

Ti said...

I've never read one of her books. For some reason I have her pegged as a romatic lit writer and that has never been my thing.

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

Count me among those who has never read Anita Shreve either. I bought several of them at book sales and whatnot, but haven't picked them up. Not sure why. Testimony sounds good though.

Tara said...

bermudaonion, I need to give you an award for always being my first commenter! ;-) I've read a lot of her work and will continue too. Some is better than others, but that goes with the teritory.

softdrink, that's good to know. Maybe give her a try someday.

violetcrush, good, I hope you do!

Kristin M, I totally needed that laugh! Imagining me shaking my fist made me totally crack up. I'm cracking up again re-reading it. Thanks! = )

Booksplease, The Last Time They Met is actually one I wasn't crazy about - that whole twist at the end irriated me. I'm glad you liked it!

Ti, she's definitely not romantic lit. It's not my thing either. Give her a try. I'd classify her as 'smart women's fiction'.

Betty and Boo's Mommy, thanks for stopping by! Give her a try someday - I though this was one her best (that I've read).

Ali said...

I've never read Anita Shreve, looks like I ought to!

And here's my take on WDW: she probably doubly needs the boost of some amazing quality time with mom and dad right now. You're not taking her to DW as a reward for good behavior, you're taking her because she's a wonderful kid who you want to hang out with at the happiest place on earth. Just think what a powerful message that sends to a kid who's struggling at school. :-)

Pink Lady Bug said...

I've heard of Anita Shreeve but never read it. It sounds like a really interesting story and unique writing style.

Tara said...

Ali, thanks for the positive thoughts - I appreciate it.

Pink Lady Bug, nice to see you! Give AS a try someday.

Tara said...

Ali, thanks for the positive thoughts - I appreciate it.

Pink Lady Bug, nice to see you! Give AS a try someday.

J.Danger said...

WoW! I cant believe that so many have not read AS. I was always under the assumption that she was a hit. Huh. Well I dig her...

Iliana said...

I really need to read another Shreve book. I read The Pilot's Wife and hated it but it could also have been because it was one of the Oprah books everyone raved about and when I got to it I was thinking what was all the fuss about! haha... I'll definitely come back and check out the giveaway Tara :)

And, I'm sorry I didn't get to comment on your post yesterday. What can I say, I don't have children so I really don't know but I think your husband is right. You don't want to regret not going.

Cath said...

I've read The Pilot's Wife and Light on Snow and liked them both a lot. I see that Testimony is her latest book, which is probably why I haven't heard of it. I think it sounds excellent and will definitely try to get hold of it at some stage.

Chris said...

I agree with your hubby. My girl has some listening issues lately as well but WDW is a once in a lifetime thing and I think you would regret it. Have a blast!

Danielle said...

I have read a couple of her novels (and have a few more on the shelves), and I also enjoy her books. I will have to look for this one, it sounds good!

GeraniumCat said...

I loved Fortune's Rocks and The Pilot's Wife (I think it was) but was a bit less enthusiastic about some of the more recent books - this sounds like she's back on form, though.

Staci said...

Love Anita Shreve, look forward to reading this book! Thanks for the great review.

Carrie K said...

Oh, The Pilot's Wife. I have heard of her, but I've never read any of her books.

Personally, I'd think of DW as a punishment but then, crowds and cheery talking animals get on my nerves. :)

Tara said...

J Danger, I was suprised too!

Iliana, thanks for your opinion - I think going is/was the right decision.

Cath, glad to find another Shreve fan! I'm not sure if I've read Light on Snow - will have to check that out.

Chris, I think you were both right. Thanks!

Danielle, I bet you'd like this one.

GeraniumCat, I liked both of those as well.

Staci, thanks!

Carrie K, he-he. My husband and I don't really get all the adult Disney love out there, but wanted our daughter to experience it when she still 'believed'.