“You stare at the cabinet in front of you. The one that holds the cereal boxes, and the salt and pepper, and the toothpicks, and the can of Pam and the Extra Strength Tylenol and wonder how it is that the events of one single night- which might have been lewd, or shameful or simply bacchanalian – can change the lives of so many people forever.” Anita Shreve
Set in Vermont at Avery Academy, an elite private school, the book opens with a headmaster who pops in a tape- a sex tape- made by students in a dorm room at Avery Academy. He knows these students. And though he does not know the 14 year-old girl in the center of the scenes, yet, he does know he is horrified and that he must do something about it.
So begins a series of events that are set into play. That snowball, and roll down hill and ruin the lives of everybody in it’s path. But who is really to blame? The cameraman for filming the video? The boys for partaking in this orgy? The girl for drinking to much and being a willing participant? The headmaster for calling the police? Or is it someone else?
This book explores this question from several different viewpoints. I had the privilege of listening to this on audio book. Read by a full cast you hear these viewpoints in the voices of each character. I was immediately drawn in by this style and felt more connected to the story. The depth of feeling really comes through when you can hear the catch in one’s voice or a sob that escapes from their throats.
I finished listening to this just this morning as I was getting ready for work. At one point, crying myself, I looked into the mirror to realize I was going to have to reapply the mascara that was now running down my cheeks. If you can get this on audio book I suggest you do it. If you can’t, read it on paper. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this fantastic book!