By: Kimberly McCreight
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
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.
Yeah, I was on a bit of a roll reading all of these thrillers some time ago. And I had been curious about this title for a while, it kept cropping up on Kobo whenever I was browsing over there. So I finally decided to check it out.
Omg and I am done reading thrillers about weird shit happening to teenagers. It’s reading stuff like this that makes me glad I’m no longer in high school but also freaked out that stuff like this does happen in high school (I had a good high school experience, I should add). But it also raises awareness how prevalent and how easy online bullying can occur, so I guess I’m thankful for that? But still, very concerning that this stuff happens.
And of course amidst the mystery of what happened to Amelia is peppered with the usual harrowing experiences every teenager goes through: of first loves, sex, drinking, tenuous friendships and dramas, and in the case of this private school secret clubs. Again, so glad Facebook and the prevalence of texting wasn’t around when I was in high school.
For me the highlight was following Kate as she tries to piece together her daughter’s life in those days leading up to her death. Kate is a single mother and while she’s uncovering her daughter’s life with a ferocious determination, she’s also facing her own failures and disappointments, figuring out as well how her own past might play a role in her daughter’s death. Kate is brilliant and strong but she has her flaws and it was interesting to read as she sort of re-examines her own successes as a mother.
Overall Reconstructing Amelia was interesting in piecing together what happened to Amelia amidst all of the possible suspects. Kate’s characterisation was my favourite part of the novel, as well as her relationship with her daughter, even after what happened (sad as it was). The book definitely had been glued from start to finish, if perhaps only because of the stress of getting through all of the high school stuff -_-;