Tuesday, December 14, 2010


by Anita Shreve

Testimony: A NovelI'm currently disrupting with the time/space continuum. I read Testimony in July, but am writing my review today (December 1, 2010), and not planning to post said review until December 14. Do with this information what you will.

Actually, today was a crazy day. It started off super productive and successful ... seems my job has evolved into a bit of corporate training and it doesn't suck. It's draining for sure, but interacting with people is one of the things I do best. I'm passionate about my work and always eager to share my knowledge. After the training there were some events that took place that actually made me need to leave the office for fear of doing/saying something I might regret. As I drove home I vowed to forget about these aggravating circumstances and not speak again for the rest of the day. Oh, and drink a lot of wine.  So if I can't express myself verbally, my blog readers get treated to a buzzed post. Here goes...

I've been up and down with Anita Shreve. I read The Pilot's Wife years ago and absolutely loved it. Then I read a few other titles and as write this have no idea what they were. I knew they were forgettable, but I didn't realize until now just how much so. But this one was handed to me by Joanna, and we all know that I trust her recommendations and sort of see her as my personal screener. This one passed the test.

Testimony is the story about college students and, more specifically, how one seemingly harmless series of events effects a long string of people. Each chapter is told by a different affected person. I really like this style of writing. Easy to follow, yet complex enough to keep the reader on her toes. I'm reading other reviews to refresh my memory, and find that this book didn't get much praise. For once, I completely disagree. I thought this book was great. The subject matter was totally believable and I definitely sympathized with the characters.

Three star college basketball players and a freshman girl make a sex tape that quickly gets leaked to the entire school. It's eerily reminiscent of that poor Rutger's student who jumped from the GW bridge (even though this book was published two years ago). And I was hooked after the first two sentences:

"It was a small cassette, not much bigger than the palm of his hand, and when Mike thought about the terrible license and risk exhibited on the tape, as well as its resultant destructive power, it was as though the two-by-three plastic package had been radioactive. Which it may as well have been, since it had produced something very like radiation sickness throughout the school, reducing the value of an Avery education, destroying at least two marriages that he knew of, ruining the futures of three students, and, most horrifying of all, resulting in a death."

Quick read. Compelling. Worth it.

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