Monday, May 11, 2009

Testimony by Anita Shreve

Avery Academy, set in the woods of Vermont, seems like the last place for a scandal to happen. Unfortunately, all bets are off when it comes to teens and alcohol. When a sex tape is found involving 3 boys and a 14 year old girl, countless lives are shattered and not many are spared - whether it's the headmaster, the boys themselves, or their poor parents who are left wondering "how could this have happened?"

I really liked the use of multiple points of view for this novel, because when something scandalous happens, it helps to hear all sides of the story. This could have easily been written from a headmaster's perspective (or even from the character of Silas) and it would have been great, but having so much insight from so many people really made this book seem more 3 dimensional to me. Jodi Picoult follows the same strategy for her novels, even going so far as to change the font depending on the character (which seems a little much, but whatever), and it's a fabulous way to wrap so many narratives together.

My only (small) complaint was that Shreve uses TOO many narratives that at times, it got a little confusing. I understand why she wanted to show how the scandal affected lots of individuals, but in all honesty, hearing the lunch lady's perspective really did nothing for the story. Other than that, it was a great read!

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