Testimony by Anita Shreve. Little, Brown (2008).
[to be released October 21]
Anita Shreve's Testimony has a "ripped from the headlines" feeling. It tells the story of a high school sex scandal--the sort of thing that probably happens more than we realize. The horror any parent would feel at her child being involved in this situation is, at times, palpable in Shreve's writing.
She tells the story from multiple viewpoints including parents, children, school administrators, and friends. She maintains the voice of her many, many characters extraordinarily well. Only once did I have to retrace my steps to reconstruct a relationship. I felt great pity for some of the parties involved while others I felt completely indifferent towards. I was surprised I didn't have a greater emotional reaction to this book, but I always felt like an outsider looking in. It allowed me to keep my distance from these characters. Whether this was Shreve's intention, I cannot say.
Overall, Testimony is a well-written, thoughtful story of a life-changing event. This is my first Anita Shreve novel, and I was impressed enough that I would pick up another. If you are a fan or want to learn more, visit Anita Shreve's website here to sign up for her eNewsletter or read an excerpt.
Check out other reviews at:
At Home with Books
A Writer's Pen
Breaking the Spine
For the Good Times
The Sleepy Reader