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3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  21,954 Ratings  ·  2,863 Reviews
At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices--those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal--that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2008)
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Best Books of 2008
115th out of 1,515 books — 6,845 voters
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20th out of 233 books — 618 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 24, 2008 Carol rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary
I had trouble rating this book; it is definetly a page-turner, so why only two stars? I found the storyline riveting, but the writing style took me many pages to get used to - overly simplistic at times. I also felt that it had too many frivolous descriptions; I found myself skimming to find actions, feelings, and more dialogue. During the first half of the book, I was saying, "I do not like this book at all," but as I read further, I discovered the value of it as a lesson to be learned about ho ...more
Jan 17, 2009 Kimberly rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Parsons
Aug 01, 2011 Daniel Parsons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...I discover that it is possible to be angry with someone who has died. It is possible to believe that you will die from grief, that somehow your breathing will catch itself up and simply stop. It is possible to believe that you could have stopped the terrible thing that happened at any time, if only you had known. It is possible to wonder how [they]... could have done this to you, could have left you and not said good-bye. It is possible to know... that your life will never be the same again. ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Lanette rated it it was ok
I made it to page 83 and in the middle of a random paragraph asked myself "Why am I reading this?"

The writing style... flipping between characters and times... is a tad confusing. There are too many people involved, which meant I didn't give a flying leap about any of them. I suppose we're meant to feel sorry for some, but I didn't...

There are too many GREAT books out there waiting for me to read them, so I'm not going to force myself to finish this one.
Jan 01, 2009 Lynn rated it liked it
I wasn't at all sure I was going to finish reading this book when I first started it. The idea of a graphic sex scandal involving a very young teen did not appeal to me. I hate reading about that stuff. I ordered it just because it was a new Anita Shreve, not even really paying attention or caring about the premise. This author always manages to draw me in with her writing, however, and this book was no exception. Within the first few chapters I was hooked and stayed that way. The graphic stuff ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This one's a definite sleep stealer. I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. to finish it, then couldn't get to sleep for thinking about it! It's quite a departure from Shreve's usual style and content, so give it a try even if you think you don't care for her work.
The story revolves around some drunken sexual antics in a boarding school dorm room that are caught on video tape.
Shreve uses a large number of voices or points of view, which has the potential to be cumbersome. I thought she handled it very def
Dec 01, 2008 Charise rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for such a compelling plot, but I was ultimately disappointed. The structure was appealing: chapters are the voices of alternating characters and members of the community touched by this prestigious high school sex scandal. This structure also created a building momentum, and I was waiting and waiting for bigger revelations, but the twists and turns were obvious, and in the places where the author had room to startle the reader, she just seemed to fall flat.
Oct 24, 2008 Darlene rated it liked it
I've read a few of Anita Shreve's novels and liked them. Testimony was no different. It's a very powerful story that grabs your attention from the beginning and keeps you hooked to the end.

The beginning of the novel introduces us to a devastating videotape that involves two boys 18 years old, one boy 19 years old and a very young girl, aged 14. The tape shows them involved in very explicit sexual acts. They are all very clearly drunk. This tape ends up falling into the headmaster's hands and he
Aug 06, 2013 Britany rated it really liked it
What a page-turner! This whole story is told from multiple perspectives and each chapter is a different voice in this story. I loved how the chapters represented different emotions and told the story one step at a time using multiple voices. It was a great way to develop the characters. I was attached to many of them and deeply rooting for them, all the while knowing that it wasn't going to wrap up with a happy ending.

Avery Academy is a private school in the outskirts of Vermont, gearing studen
Aug 05, 2008 Ronni rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to get a galley of this book, and I zipped right through it. It's likely inspired by the Duke Lacrosse scandal, as it revolves around a similar scandal at an upscale New Hampshire prep school. The chapters are told from the various points of view of the people involved, from the basketball players, parents, alleged victim, friends, and school administrators. The story moves very quickly and definitely makes the point that every story has multiple interpretations and how the ac ...more
Sep 28, 2015 Averil rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For such a tragically pertinent issue in our society - sexual abuse &/ exploitation of vulnerable young women - this book sure missed its opportunity for profound contribution to the dialogue.

We live in a terrifyingly brave new world for our hyper-sexualised young women. They are raised in a utterly sex-saturated culture, where women are now wrongly taught that objectification & promiscuity = female "empowerment". We blithely brush over the endangerment inherent in the new era of rampant
Oct 18, 2012 Melissa rated it it was ok
Definitely just an ok read. It was quick. Margins were wide and lots of space between the lines. Some reviewer of a different book saw this as a sign that a book of little substance was somehow being made to appear larger. Surely applies to this book. The chapter format was annoying; too many changes from first person to narrator to whatever. The entire premise was bogus: two years after a some kids at a private school are caught up in a sex scandal, a researcher contacts various individuals who ...more
May 25, 2008 Miriam rated it it was amazing
I am a sucker for a boarding school book. And this one has it all. Scandal, scandal, scandal. Great for a plane or a beach or anyone who can't resist snowy high school drama.
Aug 04, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it
My first Anita Shreve book and I really enjoyed it and read in 36 hours. The book is a bit 'jerky' as it is told by a lot of different characters.

What is fascinating is how a bit of bad behaviour spirals into catastrophe for a lot of people.

I will definitely read more by her.
Aug 31, 2011 Dem rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub-reads
This was a bookclub read and would not be my usual choice in a book as I am not a fan of Anita Shreve and having read the blurb on this book thought the story sounded different and interesting.

The story is about a sex scandal involving 3 boys and one 14yr old girl and is told from the prospective of all those involved and affected by this scandal. The opening few pages shocked me and I wondered how Shreve would handle the rest of the story how in depth she would go with her characters and their
Nov 10, 2008 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
In a small Vermont village, most-known for its private boarding school for the privileged children of the wealthy, and some who are there on scholarships, a scandal is brewing.

We see the story unveiled, piece by piece, in the voices of the participants. First we learn of a tape, discovered by Mike Bordwin, the headmaster of Avery Academy. It is a sex tape and it reveals the activities of some of the best and brightest – along with the unfortunate appearance on the tape of a fourteen-year-old gir
I didn’t appreciate the graphic sex, nor did I actually appreciate the fiction. I found myself wanting to read the police reports, court reports and pyschological profiles of the incidents and people who inspired this fiction book.
Here is a quote from the book that I thought had merit.
“I held on to the story at the Globe for as long as it lasted. I received a Pulitzer for my work on it. I could go on and on about the ethics of accepting a prize for a sordid tale about alcohol abuse, sexual assau
Nov 28, 2010 ☮Karen rated it really liked it
Recommended to ☮Karen by: Cindy A
Shelves: favorites
The first chapter is pretty graphic but you have to get through it to understand the rest of the book. The chapters are told from the perspective of different people involved in a sex scandal at a prep school in Vermont. You learn how this scandal affects people in different ways, and in the end you wonder how it could have been prevented. I think this would make parents think twice about shipping off their teenagers to a high school many miles away from home -- who's really watching them and ar ...more
Jun 07, 2015 Deanna rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the book Testimony by Anita Shreve. Once I started reading I found it very hard to put down and finished it within 2 days.

The story revolves around Avery Academy, a small private High School where a sex scandal involving the students was captured on video tape and has shocked the small community. A retelling of the events leading up to the tragic night told by many of those directly and indirectly involved.

I was quite drawn in to the characters sadness and pain. I felt for the
Célia Loureiro
Mar 19, 2015 Célia Loureiro rated it it was amazing
Shelves: meus-books-i-own
Opinião: Um dos meus livros favoritos, lido em 2004 salvo erro, foi escrito pela mão de Anita Shreve. “A Praia do Destino” traduz uma visão única da condição humana e derruba barreiras quanto a questões regidas pela moral do senso comum. Um caso entre uma jovem de quinze anos e um médico de quarenta e um, ainda por cima casado, ainda por cima em 1899, é um desses casos de moral indiscutível. Mas a autora conseguiu promover um debate a fazer da humanidade e das circunstâncias, e foi isso que me c ...more
Dec 02, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
Provocative topic, excellent reminder of why teenage acts can have such devastating consequences - they have no sense of perspective yet - they haven't lived long enough to understand they can move past something. Quick read and interesting development of story through the eyes of many players. However, characters and relationships are a little too good and a little too bad to not be a little annoying / unbelievable.

One annoying criticism is that a central piece of suspense throughout the book
Oct 19, 2008 Serena rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone that loves Shreve or wants to give her a try
Testimony by Anita Shreve, which will be released on Oct. 21, was such a surprise in my mailbox from Hatchette Group's Miriam Parker. Thanks, Miriam! I met Anita Shreve at the 2002 National Book Festival signing in Washington, D.C. I've been in love with her writing since I first read The Pilot's Wife many years before that, and I will admit here that I've tried to emulate her style in my own writing, though my writing has not met muster.

Testimony is one of those novels that slowly draws you int
Feb 18, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it
I found this book profoundly unsettling, as a mom, and a past wild child/boarding school attendee. There is a passage where a mother ponders "The Phone Call" and as a mother how every day you wait for the phone call, and you worry, and you wonder, what is it going to be, and am I going to be the lucky one that never receives the phone call, that never meets the police at her door in the dead of night. It reduced me to tears and cost me some sleep.

That said I think that this book also touches on
Dec 31, 2014 kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
The premise of this book was disturbing enough on its own. Add in Shreve's decision to tell the story through the varying points of view of the key players, and this book was down-right troublesome. A powerfully written book showing how selfish decisions can be extremely far reaching with inconceivable consequences.
Mar 24, 2011 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished a while ago. I liked it. Very good, very readable, inherently depressing, ultimately satisfying.
Testimony hooked me early and was a fast paced read. I enjoyed the short chapters which alternated between different character perspectives. The issue of teen drinking and sex, with the act being caught on videotape and broadcast on YouTube is timely and anyone with teenagers can relate to the fear of getting the call that your child has been caught doing something stupid.

One quote in the book really stuck with me:

"I just don't get it. You take all those other days of the year--364 of them. And
Katie Pesznecker
Feb 14, 2009 Katie Pesznecker rated it liked it
Each chapter is told from a different point of view -- someone whose life was indirectly or profoundly impacted by an event that had three teen boys caught on tape in a sex act with a 14-year-old girl. I get a little tired of the "rotating voice" plot device. And Shreve chose to also bounce between first- and third-person narration. This worked at times. Other times, I felt it was a bit much. She sometimes brought in incidental characters to offer just one brief chapter's worth of narration. All ...more
Mar 01, 2009 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2012 Michael rated it it was ok
This was one of those books that started off good but ended in tragedy. I was intrigued by the plot, I was anxious to hear about a sex scandal that involved a fourteen year old girl, and how it affected the commmunity around her. On the other hand, that is not what I got while reading the book, quite the contray. All I got is a bunch of character discussing their character personalities, with little or nothing to do with the incident. The headmaster Mike Borin had potential in the beginning but ...more
Trisha W.
Sep 23, 2009 Trisha W. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read2009
et me start off by saying that I could not believe how many characters were in this book. I started the book and when I seen how many characters there were I ended up keeping a pen and paper by me and wrote down each person and how they related to another person in the story. If I wouldn't have done that I think the book would have been hard for me to understand and remember who was who.
After saying that I really liked this book. The word that comes to my mind when I think about this book is int
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Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). A ...more
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“And so a person can never promise to love someone forever because you never know what might come up, what terrible thing the person you love might do.” 29 likes
“A single action can cause a life to veer off in a direction it was never meant to go. Falling in love can do that, you think. And so can a wild party. You marvel at the way each has the power to forever alter an individual's compass. And it is the knowing that such a thing can so easily happen, as you did not know before, not really, that has fundamentally changed you and your son.” 22 likes
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