Book Review: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

How well do you know your own daughter?
Single mother and lawyer Kate Baron is in the meeting of her career when she is interrupted by a telephone call. Her daughter Amelia has just been suspended from her exclusive prep school. When Kate eventually arrives at Grace Hall an hour later, she is greeted by the news that no mother ever wants to hear.
A grieving Kate can't accept that her daughter would kill herself. But she soon discovers that she didn't know Amelia quite as well as she thought she did. Who are the friends she kept, what are the secrets she hid? How much would you tell your mother?
And so begins an investigation which takes her deep into Amelia's private world and into the mind of a troubled young girl. Then Kate receives an anonymous text:
Is someone toying with her or has she been right all along? To find the truth about her daughter, Kate must now face a darker reality than she could ever have imagined.
Reconstructing Amelia was a very interesting read and particularly relevant . Kate's daughter is dead after apparently jumping from the school roof. Kate knows Amelia would not have taken her own life. She has to find out what happened to her beautiful daughter but this will mean discovering that Amelia had many secrets; Kate is left wondering if she knew her daughter at all.
Kimberly McCreight has written a very modern mystery. Most chapters are told from either Amelia or Kate's persp
ective but these are then interspersed with Amelia's text messages and Facebook updates. It becomes apparent to Kate that her daughter was being bullied, in person but then via the internet and text messages. There have been several cases in the news recently of young people committing suicide due to cyber bullying. The author shows how the pressure builds upon Amelia, the messages and abuse are relentless and Amelia becomes more and more desperate to escape it all.
I felt that this  book was a little slow in places but in the main I really enjoyed it. Reconstructing Amelia made me think of the ways in which we communicate. I cannot imagine life without the internet or mobile phones but when used as a weapon against someone, the consequences can be devastating.
I would recommend Reconstructing Amelia, the story was interesting and topical and I particularly liked the refreshing way in which Kimberly McCreight presented it.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 400

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me a review copy, Reconstructing Amelia is available now.


Nadia said...

Dot, this book sounds riveting! I must read it ASAP!! Great post - makes me wish I could skip work today just to read the book ;)

Dot said...

Thanks Nadia!

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