Reconstructing Amelia

Someday soon, A Reader's Respite will re-employ a blog secretary to come up with catchy post titles for you all, but until we get around to that, we're stuck with a temp employee who has a tendency to write everything in Espanol:

Ivan the Terrible (terrible blog secretary, that is)

More important than a good blog secretary, however, is talking about Kimberly McCreight's new novel, Reconstructing Amelia.  Now it could be because A Reader's Respite has an inexplicable thing for prep school/boarding school novels, but even if you don't, we have a suspicion you are going to love this book.

A bullied teen is not new material.  But McCreight's exploration of the subject certainly is.  Following the apparent suicide of Amelia, her high powered attorney, single mother Kate finds her grieving interrupted by anonymous text messages that her daughter's death was not, in fact, a suicide.  Kate, of course, immediately does what any mother would do:  start getting to the bottom of this.

And just what does she discover?  Oh, you'll be on the edge of your seat finding out.  Text messages, emails, Facebook pages, and Amelia's own voice are just a few of the mechanisms McCreight uses to tell Amelia's story making this novel not only gripping but edgy and oh-so-relevant in today's world of social media.  Bullying teens have been around in books since Lord of the Flies.  But McCreight gives us bullying on a whole new technological level, even adding in the roles supposedly mature adults play in this horrifying process.

Were there flaws in the novel?  Of course.  A Reader's Respite found the wrap-up to be a tad convoluted and the adult involvement to be a bit too much.  But don't let that stop you from running out and grabbing this novel today.

A Reader's Respite might go so far as to say Reconstructing Amelia blows the best-selling (and riveting in its own right) Gone Girl out of the water.  Yes, we just might say that.  Read it.

Title:  Reconstructing Amelia
Author:  Kimberly McCreight
Publisher:  Harper
Pages:  400
Source:  Oh we bought this one, baby.  $12.60 on Kindle and worth every penny.

Rating:  Let's call it 4.5 stars (you know A Reader's Respite doesn't just hand out 5 star ratings for fun, but this is as close as a book's going to get.)


  1. Actually, I have an inexplicable LOATHING for prep school/boarding school novels, but I love the look of your new secretary!

  2. Everyone is allowed one reading phobia, I figure. Mine is the circus. Seriously. To this day, I cannot bring myself to read Water for Elephants because of the circus thing.

  3. I'll be happy to take your blog secretary off of your hands for you.

    I adore prep/boarding school books and thinks this one sounds fantastic!

  4. Oh dear Disqus....let us test this 'more reliable' commenting system.


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