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Book Review: Testimony by Anita Shreve

Testimony by Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve has always been a strong storyteller, creating books with nuanced, believable characters. She has a knack of exploring complex human relationships with a great deal of compassion. Testimony is a work that is darker than her other books and reveals a grittier tale. This time a sex scandal derails a New England boarding school. Even more shocking than the sexual acts involving an underage girl is that every sordid detail was captured on videotape. And even more destructive than the actual event, are the repercussions that ripple through the school and surrounding community.

The story is told from a wide array of characters – the school principal, the participants that were involved in the sex scandal and their parents. As each character gives ‘testimony’ the reader is taken on a journey of ever changing sympathies as new revelations and background to the event come to light. It is a compelling and fascinating novel that effectively explores the human condition and the way people’s lives interact with each other for both good and bad – and how one foolish decision can have such a negative outcome on so many lives. It is polished storytelling from a writer who is only getting better at her craft.

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