Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publishing Date: April 2nd 2013
Genre: Adult Literature
Pages: 400 pgs
ISBN: 9780062225436
Source: Bought at Chapters

Summary from Goodreads:
In Reconstructing Amelia, the stunning debut novel from Kimberly McCreight, Kate's in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter's exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter--now. But Kate's stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it's already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.

An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least that's the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one she forces herself to believe. Until she gets an anonymous text: She didn't jump.

Reconstructing Amelia is about secret first loves, old friendships, and an all-girls club steeped in tradition. But, most of all, it's the story of how far a mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldn't save.

Fans of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl will find Reconstructing Amelia just as gripping and surprising.

My Review: 

This is the first book I read in 2014 and I have to say that it was a quick read.  I couldn't put this book down. It is told in two different perspectives: the mother Kate and the dead daughter Amelia. Amelia's portion of the story is from the past, before her "suicide" and Kate's story is told after Amelia's "suicide".  McCreight also throws in a few Facebook status updates and blog entries. This book grips you from the very beginning. You can't help but want to know what is going on while reading this story. The circumstances behind Amelia's death are quite suspect but for some reason in the beginning Kate is getting some push back from the local police in charge of the investigation. As a result she decides to take matters into her own hands. 
We find out that Amelia may have gotten involved with a very volatile group of girls at her school.  She begins to pull away from her best friend and becomes more involved in a secret club. She is also texting some mysterious boy.  All of this is unknown to her mother. 
I think this book really explores the relationship between a mother and a daughter.  I really liked their relationship but you can see that there is a lot that Amelia keeps from her mother. I think this is a part of being a teenager. Regardless of how close you are with your mother when you start to get older you try to figure out who you are. A part of that is experimentation and trying to fit in and I think that this is precisely what Amelia is doing. 
The writing in this novel is quite good. It is well done and as I said before I couldn't put this book down. She makes you feel for each of the characters in a very real day. The blurb compares this novel with Gone Girl in the sense that it is surprising but I would say that there were some things that I guessed along the way.  The very ending though was something that I did not predict. I was shocked to find out what actually happened to Amelia.   
I think that you should go out and get this book as soon as you can.  It is an adult novel but it does have some cross-over appeal for YA lovers. 

1 comment:

  1. I found this book too be so literally was one of those really yummy books that I had to pry myself away from. It had a nice resounding ending...sort of sad but still good.