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Testimony by Anita Shreve

Testimony: A Novel For the writer who once joked that she could have wallpapered her bathroom  with the
rejections she got from magazines for her short stories Anita Shreve has come a long way.  Toward the end
of her career as  a High School English Teacher she quit to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.  Even though
she graduated from Tufts University , and eventually won the O'Henry prize for "Past The Island Drifting"(A short story) she became a journalist ,living in Nairobi, Kenya for three years.    For me personally  I remembered when Oprah picking the "Pilot's Wife" as a book club selection.   I also remembered thinking
'She must be good  if Oprah picked her'.  Needless to say I couldn't pass up the chance to review this book.
Silas,Rob,J Dot and a girl who would later change her name to Sienna are involved in a sex scandal that
would rock Avery Academy to it's very core.   Their exploits are filmed  and posted on YouTube.    Where
were the Adults?    Did the girl consent and later regret it ?  Was she sexually assaulted?  Was one of the students influenced by their parent's poor choices?   My overall impression was this : because this writer has won
awards and has been an international success my expectations were higher than I would have for a  first time
novelist.  Having said this I have to be honest and say I was disappointed.   Have I read worse ?  Of course .
  Have I read better. Good God yes!   I was drawn to the Silas character because he had this high moral
code and conversely I disliked the girl ,Sienna because she didn't .  My biggest problem is the plot.  Since this
was told from so many  different characters point of view, it was a challenge to stay involved with the story.(Do I really need to hear from the check out girl from the school cafeteria?)  It reminded me of William Faulkner's
 "Sound and Fury" but the key to that it was told from only  4 characters point of view not any more than that.  I understood completely the need to show how a bad decision can effect so many people.(That's true in real life,too.)  I think we could  have gotten this point a lot better from the four main characters,not everybody and they mama! Honey I was getting a headache by page 65!   I would only give this book overall 3 out of 5 stars.
If you want to check it out from the library great.  I would exactly run  out and get the Hardcover version of this.   Ftc disclosure.  I would like to thank the Hatchett Book Group for giving me an opportunity to review this book and no I dont recieve money from them to review it. ( I am an Amazon Associate  however.)


Autumn said…
I got the audiobook from the library and I think it's format works well for an audiobook. Each character was done by a different actor. That helped keep them straight. If you hated Sienna reading her, you'd really hate her listening to her LOL
bookaddict4real said…
I guess that would be easier to listen to it . I guess Sienna was that character you just love to hate!

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