Synopses & Reviews
When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter.
Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension.
Her daughter Amelia is dead.
Despondent over having been caught cheating, Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of impulsive suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. In a state of shock and overcome by grief, Kate tries to come to grips with this life-shattering news. Then she gets an anonymous text:
Amelia didn't jump.
The moment she sees that message, Kate knows in her heart it's true. Clearly Amelia had secrets, and a life Kate knew nothing about. Wracked by guilt, Kate is determined to find out what those secrets were and who could have hated her daughter enough to kill. She searches through Amelia's e-mails, texts, and Facebook updates, piecing together the last troubled days of her daughter's life.
Reconstructing Amelia is a stunning debut page-turner that brilliantly explores the secret world of teenagers, their clandestine first loves, hidden friendships, and the dangerous cruelty that can spill over into acts of terrible betrayal.
"After her teenage daughter Amelia's mysterious suicide, litigation attorney Kate Baron becomes an unlikely amateur sleuth in McCreight's diverting, if busy, debut. Kate's grief over Amelia's death and guilt about her failures as a mother are compounded by a series of anonymous text messages intimating that Amelia was actually murdered. She partners up with NYPD Lt. Lewis Thompson, who involves her, to an implausible degree, as an equal in the investigation as they trawl through Amelia's online history and interview her classmates and their families. The real story of Amelia's life and death emerges slowly, through a creative blend of Kate's present, Amelia's past, and such varied communication methods as texts, e-mails, blog entries, and Facebook status updates, leading to a chaotic landslide of climactic revelations that strains believability. Amelia's first-person narration provides the most human note, as McCreight portrays the darkness of adolescence, complete with doomed love, bullies, poisonous friendship, and insecurity. Fans of literary thrillers will enjoy the novel's dark mood and clever form, even if the mystery doesn't entirely hold together. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Marly Rusoff and Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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 daughters exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—now. But Kates 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 its already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.
An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least thats 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 didnt jump.
Reconstructing Amelia is about secret first loves, old friendships, and an all-girls club steeped in tradition. But, most of all, its the story of how far a mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldnt save.
Fans of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl will find Reconstructing Amelia just as gripping and surprising.
About the Author
Kimberly McCreight, named one of Entertainment Weekly's "13 to Watch in 2013," attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After several years as a litigation associate at some of New York City's biggest law firms, she left the practice of law to write full-time. Her work has appeared in such publications as Antietam Review, Oxford Magazine, and Babble. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and two daughters.