by Kimberly McCreight
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper (April 2, 2013)
Buy the book: Amazon
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.
The premise of this book drew me in right away. It is a mystery with lots of angles, twists and turns. Kate Baron is a single mother and high-powered attorney in a NYC law firm. Her 15 year old daughter, Amelia, attends a private school where she excels at her studies. When Kate is called away from work to deal with a disciplinary problem at school she is frustrated, confused and worried. What Kate discovers at school opens a devastating period in her life.
The fabric of this story is woven together very well. We are given clues to help us solve the mystery but they are nicely shaded. There are side stories that pull the reader's attention in different directions. The book held my interest to the end and had a satisfying conclusion.
My problem with the book is the amount and content of the language. It is staggering. There is also a large amount of sexual content. There are only a few characters in the story that I liked at all. While I liked the storyline, this did make the book a little less enjoyable for me. If those things don't bother you, then you'll probably really like Reconstructing Amelia.