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May 10, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreightReconstructing Amelia
by Kimberly McCreight
Narrated by Khristine Hvam

Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publish Date: April 2, 2013
Format: Audio, 12 hours | 15 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Intermediate
Rating: 4 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

Kate is devastated, her only child is dead and she is told it was a suicide. But when she receives a mysterious text message saying Amelia didn’t jump from the roof of the school, she begins her own investigation.

The story is told in alternating viewpoints between Kate, in the present as she pieces together what happened, and Amelia, during her last few months. The author used the technique of presenting the story through text messages, email, facebook updates and even some very nasty blog posts written by an anonymous source. Kate and Amelia were well-developed characters with Amelia the more likable and sympathetic of the two.

As the mystery of what happened to Amelia unfolds, the story becomes disturbing and often heartbreaking but at the same time compelling. I cringed at the meanness of her schoolmates, and wanted to yell at Amelia for not seeking help or advice. Most of the characters were not very likable and in many ways despicable people, with the story taking a darker tone than I was expecting. I did not figure out the ending until the last moment and felt the author did a good job presenting the clues and at times distracting the reader.

The audio was excellent. This was the first book I listened to that was narrated by Khristine Hvam and I was impressed. There were a lot of characters and she was able to vary her voice and tone so that I had no trouble differentiating between them. I even liked her portrayal of the male characters, something I often gripe about, and I especially enjoyed her snarky reading of the nasty blog posts. My only caution on the audio is that one needs to pay attention to the dates at the beginning of the chapters as the timeline moves between Amelia and Kate.

I wasn’t sure if this was a YA or adult novel, but it is very well-written and would easily find an audience among either group.

Source: Review copy
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / May 10 2013 7:23 pm

    I’ve just started the audio of this and I’m already hooked.



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