Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Before I Start my review. I have not read any Anita Shreve books in years.
Weight Of Water was the first book I read by her. I liked it because the book caused me to do research on the historical background.
Her style of writing of Testimony is totally different than Weight of Water. I enjoy books that stay in your head for awhile and full of controversy. This is a book that you want to sit down and discuss with a group of friends at length.
Hence the reason I joined a book club many years ago. There are a few authors that do that with me. The ones that come to my mind
The book would not have the impact it did if it was a straight narrative. The author wrote the book with each person that was involved either directly or indirectly. Their voices in snippets. Until the end of the book you don't figure out the pieces. The puzzle will then fit together.
Testimony is the story about one scandalous reckless act. Four 18 yr. old boys are drunk and and they are caught on camera with a underage 14 yr. old girl having a sexual encounter at a secluded private school in Vermont.
The girl is underage, and very beautiful, flirting and promiscuous. The other part here I don't remember the specific but one of the students said I did 't realize it was illegal to have sex with a underage girl.
The story is told by different view points from the students, the parents, headmaster, family, friends, and reporters. And those not involved.
It was a mosaic. The pieces of the puzzle did not fit till you were almost finished with the entire book.
The boy may have never done this terrible act if he did not find out that his mother and the head master were having a affair. That is one of the questioned asked. Would Silas have done it regardless. It made you wonder, would he have still went on this drinking binge? That is a good question...
I personally kept thinking I missed something till I figured out that the writer did not want you to know everything till the very end of the book. The point of the story was one reckless act can change the events with a blink of a eye. If a camera was not used it would have been the girl's word against the boys. All the boys were questioned without their parents being at the school. It was a mystery till the end when the story started unraveling and then you could pull the whole puzzle together. You finish the book and then say oh my gosh, now all the pieces make sense. That is what makes a good writer/novelist.
Now that I finished the book. I will go back and re-read some parts of the book.
I did not appreciate the book till the end. It was a grabber at the end, and you could not let go. Even though I predicted what was going happen before. I would recommend this to readers that enjoy books with a social message.
My friend Kathy at Bermudaonion reviewed this book a few months
You can read her review here.. Another bloggers review here article from the Telegraph . And From SF newspaper.