At first, I didn't know what to think about "Testimony" by Anita Shreve. The opening chapter described a sex scene in so much detail that I was unsure if I wanted to continue reading. However, that scene is the basis for the entire novel. After a sex scandal breaks out involving a private school, the lives of those involved change forever.
I was also unsure at first about the narration style of "Testimony". Each chapter is narrated by a different character in the book. And, each character has their own narration style. One character narrates in first person, another in third, one narrates through his journal, and another narrates by putting the reader as the character.
As I continued reading "Testimony", it was in fact the narration style that I liked. I think that the different styles really helped the reader to better understand the characters, and in the end, the story itself.
"Testimony" will be released in October 2008. But, if you'd like a copy sooner than that, click here. You'll enjoy "Testimony". I've heard great things about Anita Shreve, and I look forward to reading more of her work.
I finished Testimony with a huge sigh and the question what would I have thought and how would I have handled a situation like this.
Avery Academy is a private boarding school in New England. It is lead by headmaster Mike Bordwin who receives a homemade sex tape featuring four of Avery's students. 3 young boys age 17-19 and a young girl age 14, almost 15.
Bordwin has to decide what to do next. Deliver the tape to the police or handle the situation contained inside Avery's walls. He decides to go with the later but as word gets around, is forced to work together with the police who soon arrests two of the boys and the third boy missing.
As the story slowly unfolds we learn about all parties concerned: Children, mothers and fathers, uncles, friends, reporters, people employed at Avery Academy and at last the little community.
Each has to tell a part of this story, how it happened, how the aftermath was handled, partly who was to blame for the whole situation and who the boys and the girl were.
As the story is told the reader gets a good picture of the students involved and the life they are forced to live after they were expelled from school, chances of going to University lost because they had one drunken night and did something very stupid, were probably seduced by "the hot chick".
However, the book is more saddening from the boys perspective. During my reading I felt sorry for them, less for the girl who according to her description by roommates and her own telling of the story seems to be every flaky and dubious.
In the end it is the law that decides who is to blame and bares the boys way.
And it is the reader that has to decide on which side to stand on. Are you forgivable towards the boys and the girl ? Do they need to be punished for life for something they did for a moment and for something they all wanted at this time and no one was harmed ? Is morality more important than their future ?
Of course things like this don't happen in real life, don't they ? Aren't teenagers and young adults wasting their time drinking alcohol, doing stupid things ?
Well I did, my friends did, not in this way but certainly the one or the other way and not always inside the law.
Very thought provoking and a must read for people who like to confront themselves, their own morality and sense of justice.
I absolutely loved this book. It's amazing how one act can change the lives of so many people. I like how the author wrote each chapter from a different character's point of view. I could not put this book down, read it in 2 days! Even if you are not an Anita Shreve fan, check it out.
Parents of kids in high school and college need to read this story.You will never feel the same way about letting your teen out of your sight. I read it in less than 24 hours. At first I didn't like the style of the writing but it gives you a better feel for the characters. At once(being from NC)my first thought was of the Duke University scandal.Were the innocent boys, that were on the lacrosse team,lives ruined through no fault of their own simply because they were on that team?
The acts of an unthinking,unfeeling 14 year old girl sends shock waves through this private school and community, effecting so many. She never felt SHE had done anything wrong. The boys simply because of their age bore all the pain and humiliation while she basically walks away untouched. Alcohol can cause so much pain and and possibly death, even if the drinker doesn't get behind the wheel of a car.
This was the first book I've ready by Anita Shreve. I'll start off by saying that I couldn't put it down, and read the entire book in less than 24 hours.
I enjoyed the narrative style used by the author. Anita Shreve told the story from the viewpoints of many different characters, some who I never would have thought of including, and I enjoyed hearing those voices immensely.
After finishing the book, it left me thinking, pondering how the events of one night truly changed the lives of so many--even those who had no direct participation in the events. The best part of this novel is that it illustrates so clearly that the choices we make and the actions we take every day can have a vast impact on many people.