“Testimony”

April 8, 2009 at 5:25 am | Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment

Testimony is the first book I’ve read by Anita Shreve.  I was sucked in to the plot right away; it’s about a sex scandal at a private high school.  I was also impressed by Shreve’s ability to switch between different characters’ voices and between first, second, and third person without it seeming jerky.

I can’t resist comparing this to Jodi Picoult, since I’ve read two of her books in the past two weeks.  Picoult tells her stories from the point of view of various characters, but to me their narrative voices all sound really similar.  This might be why the editions I read both resorted to the tactic of using different fonts for each character.  Shreve’s characters actually read like different people.

The pace of Testimony was taut and driven.  I found the premise sadly believable.  Though I haven’t slept much this week and I was longing for a nap, the book kept me fixated and alert.  I should probably write Ms. Shreve a thank you note, because if I’d nodded off it would have messed up my sleep schedule.  It’s not every book that can ward off an almost inevitable nap attack, but this one did.

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