Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Focus: Reconstructing Amelia

 Reconstructing Amelia
 Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight is the story of single mother and work-obsessed attorney Kate Baron and her academically high-achieving teenage daughter Amelia. Kate, who often feels guilty because her demanding career keeps her from spending time with her daughter, works as hard as she does to provide the creature comforts of life in a Park Slope, Brooklyn brownstone and Amelia’s education at an exclusive private school.  As a result, Amelia spends a good deal of time unsupervised.  And although mother and daughter have a seemingly close relationship, when the unthinkable happens, Kate will discover that she doesn’t really know Amelia as well as she thought.

Overcome with grief from Amelia’s tragic death at school, which officials very quickly rule an impulsive suicide, Kate is driven to know more about her daughter’s daily life and final days.  In her heart, she cannot believe that Amelia would end her own life.  When Kate receives anonymous text messages suggesting that Amelia didn’t kill herself, she is more determined than ever to uncover the truth about the circumstances surrounding her daughter’s demise.  

Kate’s probing reveals secrets about Amelia’s activities and relationships that she finds shocking and totally out of character for the daughter she thought she knew.   Through Facebook status updates, texts, and alternating chapters written in Kate’s and Amelia’s voices, the author creates a contemporary and chilling look at teen vulnerability, the negative side of cliques and social media, the price of popularity, and the consequences of loyalty.  The hidden agendas, miscues, clouded judgment, and ulterior motives of parents and school officials add complex layers to the plot, with plenty of twists and turns.

Reconstructing Amelia is a compelling page turner that draws readers into a world of wealth and privilege, where parents use their power and influence for personal gain and high school students succumb to peer pressure.


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Friday Focus: Reconstructing Amelia was originally published by Catherine for This post cannot be republished without attribution.

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