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!
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.