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Do we really know what goes on in our children's schools?

bookcover
Author: Kimberly McCreight

I rated this book 4 stars.

Litigation lawyer, Kate Baron receives a phone call with disturbing news.  Her 15 year old daughter, Amelia, has been caught cheating at the exclusive private school in Brooklyn.  Kate finds it hard to accept that her bright, intelligent daughter has been caught cheating.  When Kate arrives at the school, the news is more devasting than she could imagine.  Amelia is dead.  The police and school claim that Amelia was so despondent after being caught cheating, that she "spontaneously" jumped from the roof of the school.  Suicide.  As Kate reels from this unbelievable news, she receives an anonymous text message:  "She didn't jump."

This was one of those books that I could just not put down. I thought the author created excellent characters and the story was not only about the suspicious death of Amelia. The subject of unauthorized school "clubs", hazing, and bullying was front and foremost throughout the book. I honestly can say I have not had first hand experience with this, but I am sure that it is alive and thriving in private, exclusive schools and public schools alike. The subject matter was forthright, and at times downright frightening to think that this goes on in our schools.

Amelia's mother, Kate, even though she was a busy lawyer, made a concerted effort to spend quality time with her child. After Amelia's death, she discovers through text messages, emails and social media the depths of the insidiousness of this "club". Kate is also always questioning herself as to whether she missed something, did she not make enough time for Amelia, and why she didn't see the personal struggles her daughter was having. If she was a better parent, she could have seen these things. Which, I think opened the door to the age old question, is it the quality or quantity of time we spend with our children?

The author fed us enough tidbits throughout the book, that you could predict most of the whodunits, and the outcome, but the unraveling of the story kept you turning the pages.

Even though I thought the book dragged in some places, I would recommend this book to others.  Certainly an insightful book for parents, as to what may go on in our schools.