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39. Testimony by Anita Shreve...

February 22, 2009
Avery Academy is a private school in northern Vermont, where a scandal involving four students takes place. The events leading up to, and the resulting consequences of the scandal are narrated in Testimony by those involved, as well as their roommates, parents, teachers, and the principal of the school. All of these different points of view were confusing in the beginning, except for the principal's story, as we started with him.

Anita Shreve weaves a compelling tale of the teenagers caught up in the scandal - Silas, the local boy with a bright future; Rob, stopping by on his way to early admission at Brown; J. Dot, promising basketball player; and Sienna, as she now calls herself, after.

Silas' voice is tragic. A well-respected student, he finds love in a fellow student. When he finds out that betrayal is a bitter drought to swallow, he sets himself - and the other boys - down the path to a chain of events that ends up with him as a permanent victim.

Sienna's story is a little confusing. Yes, she was fourteen at the time, but she doesn't seem to realize that her actions have brought about the firestorm that engulfs the boys and their families.

Testimony was a quick read, with each narration a puzzle piece that you need to fit to fully get the big picture. However, in this case the puzzle does have extra pieces laying around. I think that some of the other teacher narratives could've been left out - they didn't really add much to the picture. And Rob's final narrative is a nice tie-up-all-the-loose-ends that explains things more clearly, if you didn't quite get it from reading the rest of the book.

Title: Testimony
Author: Anita Shreve
ISBN-10: 0-316-05086-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-316-05986-2
Hardcover: 305 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company, 2008

7 comments:

lilly said...

Believe it or not, but I have never read any of Shreve;s books even though I have three of them on my TBR list. I guess I'll be putting them on my Ban On Spending challenge list :-)

bermudaonion said...

I really liked this book. It made me think about how our actions affect other people.

Mo from Unmainstream Mom Reads said...

I'm going to be reading this book shortly, so I'm glad to see your take on it :) Thanks for the review!

Mishel said...

I've read one book by Anita before and I really enjoyed it. I will definitely try this one out. Thanks Drey!

Melanie said...

I've just started this book. Thanks for the warning about the confusing narrators.

drey said...

lilly ~ This is my first Anita Shreve book. I think I'll be looking for more...

bermudaonion ~ No kidding, right? But I didn't get that from Sienna, which was a ding for.

Mo ~ Do let me know what you think when you're done! Who knows, maybe I'm just loony?

Melanie ~ I had to sit back and think, "who's this?" at some of the not-so-prevalent narrators.

Eesti said...

This story is told by each character either as an interview or through their personal viewpoint. The book bounces back and forth between character voices and finally builds a complete picture of their inner selves, their loves, desires, hates and how each of them went on with their lives.

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