Book Review | Testimony
Title: Testimony: A Novel
Author: Anita Shreve
I’ve read some of Anita Shreve’s books with mixed feelings about them (I love The Pilot’s Wife but I wasn’t fond of Change of Altitude). Because I have had such mixed experiences with Shreve’s books, I was interested in reading Testimony to see how it would stack up in relation to her other novels. I also thought the subject of the book was very contemporary in light of recent exposes about teenage sex and the use of technology so I was eager read Shreve’s take on this controversial subject.
Testimony begins with with a controversy that rocks a small town and the private school in that town. This event has the power to negatively change the lives of all of the students involved, as well as the administration at the school. The story travels back and forth both in time and in character perspectives. The characters affected include a young female student at the school, the headmaster, the local teenage boy that he recruited to attend the school and that boy’s girlfriend. As you can tell, I don’t want to give away any of the plot developments by saying much about the event, or the fallout from it, but is truly shocking!
I enjoyed Testimony. It got a bit confusing at times with all of the characters who are given a voice in this novel (I would say that there are at least 20 different characters who weigh in at different points in the novel from their point of view) and the switch from past to present tense. These elements made the book somewhat disjointed for me for the first third of the book and I found myself struggling to stay with the novel. I am really glad that I did, however, because the last two-thirds are much more intriguing, engaging and interesting! Towards the end of the end of the novel, it moves quickly and I found the events that transpired were heartbreaking!
I’d recommend Testimony – though it does take a bit of time to become engaged in the novel, it is well worth it!
*I did not receive any financial compensation for this review, though I did review a sample of the book for evaluation purposes. The opinions based only on my experiences wtih the product.*