Testimony is told after-the-fact through the eyes of multiple people. A parent confiscates a videotape of several older male students engaging in sex acts with a 14 year old girl and gives it to the headmaster of Avery Academy. Avery is a prestigious boarding school located in Vermont. In an attempt to keep the scandal from the public, Mike Bordwin, headmaster, takes the situation into his own hands. He asks the boys for written confessions, but without the presence of either parents or legal counsel.
The aspect of this book that frustrated me the most is that the girl, who, in my opinion, was aware of what she was doing, is not held accountable. Yes, the boys were older and made some bad choices, but the young lady did too. The adults also made several bad choices, but you’ll need to read the book to find out what they are.
In any case, this is a serious subject and I’m glad that Ms. Shreve has addressed it. It certainly could open discussions for parents and children about the consequences that one must face for one’s actions. Book clubs also, will find this a story with many issues to talk about. Check catalog for availability.