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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Testimony by Anita Shreve

Testimony by Anita Shreve portrays the events on the campus of an exclusive private prep school. A video is made of 3 young basketball players and a sexually precocious 14 year old girl. The sex scandal explodes, and this story is told through the voices of those involved. Participants, family members, townsfolk and faculty are all heard in this brilliant study of a scandal.

I've not read any of Anita Shreve's past work, and I think that I've really been missing out on a great author. Testimony is similar to cases we've read about in the news; the Duke Lacrosse scandal comes to mind. But in this case, we're privy to the thoughts and actions of participants and observers. This gives us perspectives that we may never have considered in the past. The line between guilt and innocence become a bit blurred and our shifting perspective challenges our ideas of right and wrong. Occasionally, near the beginning of the novel, it is a bit difficult to keep the large cast of characters straight and there were times when I would have to go back a few chapters to refresh my memory. By the time the book ends though, we feel that we know these people as well as anyone can.

Testimony is disturbing, on one occasion, heart breaking and thought provoking.

My rating:


Anonymous said...

I really liked this book, too. My favorite of all the Anita Shreve books that I've read is The Pilot's Wife.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love Anita Shreve's books! She is fantastic!