Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reconstructing Amelia (Kimberly McCreight)

After reading the last page of Kimberly McCreight's extraordinary Reconstructing Amelia, I felt exactly like I did after finishing Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl -- like I had just been put through a washing machine on the spin cycle.  However, while I couldn't wait to exorcise Nick and Amy Dunne from my brain (even though I loved Gone Girl), I found myself thinking about Amelia's story long after I turned the final page.

Reconstructing Amelia is the story of bullying to the extreme.  Kate is a high-powered lawyer who one day gets a call out of the blue to come pick up Amelia, her daughter, from school.  Amelia has been caught up in a cheating incident, which is very hard to believe because she is a perfect student.  Upon arriving at the school, Kate is told that her daughter has jumped off the roof of the building; it is ruled a suicide.  However, when Kate begins to get texts that her daughter did not jump, she becomes obsessed with learning the true story of what happened. Through Kate's narration, Amelia's narration, Facebook posts, and texts, the reader is slowly given the entire picture...as heartbreaking as that is.

I cannot even imagine being a middle school or high school student in today's world of social media.  No longer is bullying limited to a physical altercation in the schoolyard; now it is much more sinister.  McCreight effortlessly pieces together Amelia's story until the reader is left with the unforgettable conclusion.