The first part of this book tells us what happened before, during, and immediately after the young woman, Charlotte, died. Although this part is interesting and the reader really does need to know what occurred, it is slow going at times. That is because Chris Bohjalian tends to go on for too long about things that have little or nothing to do with the story. But this part does paint a necessary picture.
Then the story--Sybil's surprise at the accusation, the subsequent preparation for trial, and the way her family dealt with all of it--really gets going. I hated to put the book down.
I avoided reading this book because the narrator is Sybil's daughter, who was 13 and 14 years old during this ordeal. Books narrated by children do not appeal to me. In this case, though, the narrator is in her 30s, remembering events that happened when she was 13 and 14. So it feels like an adult book should and not like a book for young adults.
Having read four Bohjalian novels, I observe that he always surprises in the end. I wonder if I should have seen it coming.
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