Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

If you liked Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, you will love Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight. It is similarly mysterious, addictive and gut-wrenching, but I loved the added dimension of it being set in NYC, that it is mostly about a grieving mother, and that it unfolds somewhat more naturally and realistically (somewhat!).

The book starts out with a young, intelligent teenager's apparent suicide at her elite prep school, Grace Hall. Amelia Baron, a beautiful and somewhat dorky teenager, seems to have jumped off the roof after being accused of plagiarism. Her overworked, distraught mother, who is a brilliant lawyer at a top firm in NYC, is overcome with grief and regret. Until she gets an anonymous text - "Amelia didn't jump."

And so begins this clever story that reveals Grace Hall's secret societies, Amelia's secrets and her first love, and the general angst and anxiety of the teenage years. Kate, as single mom, is consumed by guilt but struggles to understand what was really happening in Amelia's life. In the end, her own secrets are wrapped up with Amelia's. Excerpts from Amelia's texts, facebook updates, and emails make the writing very fresh and modern, and add a layer of mystery.

I don't want to say too much more - it would ruin the book for you all! But this is certainly a quick, engrossing novel. Parts of it are heavy, especially for a young mother to read about the loss of a child, but other parts are fun and gossipy. Well written, light and engaging for sure. 

If you're looking for a few more summer reads for Labor Day weekend, check out my other favorite summer books here (summer 2014) and here (summer 2013).

What have you read this summer? Anything you loved and would recommend? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely going to check this out! Your write-up also reminds me of the book I was going to recommend to you, "The End of Everything." So good (but not an upbeat read)-