Sunday, December 07, 2008

Testimony by Anita Shreve

From the Publisher's Website:

At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices--those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal--that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.

Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in TESTIMONY a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellingly explores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.

WOW, just wow. This book was a masterpiece. You know, I was very excited to read it. I started it, and for some reason the first 30 pages didn't really grab me so I set it down for a few days. I picked it back up and never let go! The book definitely keep me in its grips from that point forward.

There are many powerful things going on here. For one- the variety of perspectives and voices makes this about the easiest book to read, there is no chance of getting bored when the voice rotates from person to person (the kids involved, the headmaster, parents of the kids, and people living in town). Though, at first I have to re-remember who each person was, but once I really got going I knew exactly who was who.

Also, the way the story was revealed, going from the aftermath to the event its self to what led up to it. It was a puzzle that put itself together piece by piece. I also really liked how the different characters lives intertwined and how each character affected the others.

The topic of 18-19 year old boys having sex with a 14 year old girl definitely creates strong emotions and sides. Who was to blame? Were the boys only to blame, should the girl share in the blame? My opinion is that no one is completely innocent and no one is completely to blame. I think it was a collective bad move on all of their parts and no one had the sense to step back for a moment and consider what was going on, until after the fact. Very unfortunate. Each person has a different reason for being there and for the most part in the book you find out what lead them to this place.

All of the characters had something to offer but I think my favorite character was Noelle- the girlfriend of one of the boys. I also really liked Laura's perspective, she was the roommate of the girl involved in the incident.

Hands down- this was a very engrossing read and I definitely know it will be talked about for years to come!

5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher


  1. This was definitely a page turner for me, too.

  2. I had not heard of this one, probably because I usually only read YA novels. I will be looking out for this one.

  3. I just got this one - can't wait to get to it!

  4. It sounds really good! I remember entering to win it on some random site forever ago (I recognize the cover but nothing else lol). Maybe I'll pick it up myself since I didn't win it. :P

  5. Ohh I have read so many good reviews! I hope to get it :)

  6. I enjoyed this book too although I had some problems with the way it was written. I like more of a story format. That being said it is still a good and powerful book.

  7. I read the opening of this book out of curiosity, after hearing a bit about it. I decided it is probably not for me, but it certainly sounds interesting.

  8. This book was incredibly powerful, wasn't it? I was surprised at how much it gripped me.

  9. I am really glad you said that! I felt the same way, but so many haven't. Glad another person appreciates this book as much as I did.

  10. I also reviewed this book here:

    I loved it.

    I've added your link to my review.

  11. bermudaonion- :D

    Shalonda- Yeah it's pretty interesting. First time for me with this author.

    After The Blackbird Sings- It was good!

    Carrie K.- Hope you like it!

    Amee- Yeah it was pretty good!

    Veens- I hope you enjoy it!

    Dar- Yes the format was interesting but I actually ended up really liked it once I got the hang of who was who.

    Charley- You know the opening didn't really catch me either and then after about 30 pages I was hooked.

    S. Krishna- Agreed!

    J. Kaye- Too bad this book wasn't our noontime chat! :P

    Serena- Aww that's sweet of you I'll come check it out!

  12. This is in my TBR pile, and I can't wait to have a chance to read it. I love Anita Shreve, and this is the only one of her books I haven't read yet. I've heard a lot of good things about this one. Thanks for the review!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  13. Anna- This was my first and i really liked it!

  14. This was an emotional roller coaster ride. As the mother of two teen girls I found this thought-provoking and timely. As much a cautionary tale as fiction with recent headlines setting the scene. I very much enjoyed the style in which it was written-straight forward, no nonsense, journalistic. It was easy to put down and pick up again over a week's time with no concerns about losing the narrative.


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