The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall

It has definitely been a little while and I’m sorry for disappearing from my blog. It’s been one of those times for me, a group of weeks that are just busy or distracting and I don’t get in as much reading as I’d like. But I have read a few good ones and I’m excited to tell you about them.

The Best Kind of People is a “Heather’s Pick” (of Indigo) and is a 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist. Those two things alone made me pick it up but it also seemed like an intriguing story. A popular teacher at a prep school is arrested as a result of allegations of sexual assault by female students. His daughter is at the top of her class as a senior at the same school in a very small town. I’m sure you can imagine where the story might go from there and you see it from the perspectives of Sadie, the daughter, Joan, George’s wife and Andrew, his son.  You also get some of it from the perspective of Kevin, a local author.

It wasn’t an easy book because it’s not an easy subject but it was a great read and I wanted more when I finished it. The characters were well developed and as a reader, I felt like I wanted to be on their sides even as they struggled to decide which side they were on. The allegations upset far more than just George’s life – they were all impacted in so many ways.

I had been craving a book like this one for a while, a book I could sink into and forget everything else going on in my world. It made me think and I realized how much your view of the world can change when you realize something you never imagined about a person. I felt genuine concern for some of the characters as I wondered along with them whether the allegations were true. I felt connected to their stories, to the perseverance they needed to push through and hold everything together despite being in a terrible, unimaginable situation. One where they learned who they could turn to and who they couldn’t and discovered things they didn’t know about each other or themselves.

I must admit, I’m a bit undecided on how I feel about the end of the story and I won’t say more because I don’t want to give it away.  My mixed feelings are how I know it’s a good one. The ending seemed almost…inevitable maybe…but it was worth every second.

K

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