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Testimony

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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  24,361 Ratings  ·  3,054 Reviews
At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal breaks. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on camera. A Pandora's box of revelations, the graphic images trigger a chorus of voices - those of the men, women, teenagers and parents involved in the scandal - testimonies that detail the ways in which lives can be derailed or des ...more
Paperback, 305 pages
Published June 4th 2009 by Abacus (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Phrynne
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4000-books
Such a sad but compelling story beautifully told. The first chapter is very confronting as the scene is set for what is to come. Then the author presents the sorry tale bit by bit, using each chapter for a different point of view. I found myself on the edge of my seat waiting for the final horrible thing that I knew must happen but when it did, the reason for it was not what I expected.
I thought it was all very thought provoking and very cleverly done. So sad that a few short, ill judged minute
...more
Carol
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dem
Aug 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Deanna
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Daniel Parsons
Jul 26, 2011 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
Kimberly
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lanette
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Averil
Apr 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Lynn
Dec 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Charise
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
...more
Darlene
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
...more
Britany
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Ronni
Aug 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dora Santos Marques
A minha opinião em vídeo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qg72...

Uma história super actual que me prendeu até à última página.
A escrita está cativante e as personagens muito bem construídas.
Um grande exemplo da exagerada hipocrisia do sistema americano...
Miriam
May 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Melissa
Nov 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Erik
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished a while ago. I liked it. Very good, very readable, inherently depressing, ultimately satisfying.
Margitte
It is the first Anita Shreve I read and it was a book that travels. It landed at our place, left by a guest. So it was not a book I would normally buy and did not know what to expect. The private school sex scandal, starting the book in graphic detail almost had me put it down. It was not my kind of book at all. But then the story pulled me in. The different characters relate their involvement one by one in each chapter and although it was annoying in the beginning, it soon made sense.

Although
...more
Richard
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Laurel-Rain
Oct 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sara
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Chana
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
...more
☮Karen
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Serena
Sep 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
I read this book at my sister's insistence, partially because she felt that the way the story was told amounted to little more that victim blaming and rape culture. Now, having read the book, I understand why she felt that way, but I also see more to it than that.

The why? That's easy. There's a video with a bunch of guys (18-19) fooling around with a 14-year-old, and the first thing that the headmaster of the school says upon viewing it is that it looked like the girl knew what she was doing. T
...more
Heather
Nov 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Noel
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent audiobook - narrated by several outstanding readers. The story unfolds in a Vermont elite boarding school when several older boys are involved in sexual activities with a 14 year old girl. The story is told from the point of view of the kids involved, the girl, the girl's roommate, the parents, the headmaster. All insightful. As the mother of 3 boys, much of the thoughts of the parents are thoughts that ran through my mind at one time or another. Not that I ever had these issues with a ...more
Glenna Pritchett
This is one of the saddest, most disturbing books I have ever read. My stomach was in knots most of the way through, yet I am glad I read it and I hope you will read it, too. I don't want to discuss the plot or the writing, I only want to say I don't think I'll ever forget the story, and I want to share a couple of quotes that twisted my heart and took my breath:

"... and you'll remember, and it'll catch you up, and you'll realize how fast, how fast, a life can get all twisted around."

"A single a
...more
kristen
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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3530
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.” 31 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.” 24 likes
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