When I first began this book, I did not realize what I was getting into. The story starts with a mother receiving a call that her academically advanced daughter was being expelled from school for cheating and before the mother, a partner in a law firm, could arrive, her daughter was dead from an apparent suicide.
In alternating chapters, the lives of Amelia Baron and her mother Kate slowly unfold. High school life is hard and when Amelia is “tapped” to be in a secret group at school, she first thinks that they are ridiculous, but at the same time, intrigued with a particular person within this group.
This is where the storyline does a complete spider web and things go from bad to horrible rather quickly. After the funeral, Kate receives a text that informs her that Amelia did not kill herself. How can that be, Kate was told by the head of the school that it was so, the autopsy stated the same thing, but something was not sitting right. Was it intuition or desperation that drove Kate to reconstruct Amelia’s life?
This book touches on all subjects. A grief stricken mother that has a couple of secrets, a daughter that questions part of herself, mean girls, a never seen texting boyfriend, a best friend that knows things that she does not want to share. A teacher that stirs the pot, an administrator that wants to keep all things hidden. The cast of characters goes on and on.
As I said, when I started this book I had no idea where it would take me. Kimberly McCreight wrote the kind of book that I love. There is something new in each chapter, a little tidbit is revealed and before you know it, you are flipping back a couple of chapters wondering how you did not see that coming.
There is talk that this book is being turned into a screen adaptation with Nicole Kidman - which I think would be perfect. I just hope that they can slowly reveal the story the way the book did and not leave out parts in hopes that the audience had read the book and can fill in their own missing pieces. Because trust me, if you are not paying attention you will be lost.