Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Photos courtesy of Hachette Book Group

Title: Testimony
Author: Anita Shreve
Pages: 320
Yearly Count b: 87

The story is a hard one to read, that of sexual acts between teens and a minor in a drunken state. It all seems to private to really write or read about in the detail to which Shreve goes. Silas, the main man, a quality kid, a basketball player and someone who has so much going for him ends up in a situation where he put himself yes, but why? The journey through Anita Shreve's Testimony brings out the voice of each person involved and to what capacity they are invested in the situation. Each character has an intensely strong voice, a voice of their own as if they really all are truly individuals not working together in the head of Anita Shreve onto the paper. I was carried away, by her story, her plot and the depth of her characters. I can honestly say that I had to be, if I weren't I would not have finished this book, I wouldn't have started it.

Several times I decided to stop reading, but like a drug it sucked me in. I can say that knowing the end and the point of the author, that I am content. Anita strives to describe the implications that one day can have on the lives of so many and to what extreme one act can affect the surrounding individuals. I agree, I also really had to consider the power of choice in reading Testimony.Each individual is given choices, and how they act on those choices will affect the people around them in a positive or negative way, Anita portrays that to an amazing perfection.

What really made me think after finishing this was how when the whole scandalous situation first arose I immediately judged those involved, and I have to believe Anita did that purposefully. I was angry at them all. As the book went on, the situation rehearsed from each different person and they described the impact it had had on them, I felt differently, not entirely, but a little. I have noticed that in real life too, I can hate someone, but if I try to get to know them, try to befriend them I soon realize why they are the way they are and I can't help but understanding them a little better. What I got from Shreve's book is really that we are all capable of going off the deep end, and that it is much easier than you'd expect , especially if you don't surround yourself by people who will push you up rather than push you down.

I have to tell you that after I am done with it I did really feel and still feel impacted by it, I was glued to the words as they were read, but still because of its sexual content I have a hard time giving it my full blessing. If you don't think you'll have any problem with that, GO FOR IT! It will be well worth it, but if you have a check about that sort of thing, I will tell you it does get a bit better after the first chapter, but still the entire book does revolve around that one act and therefore it is rehashed.

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and remember to:

Have you read this? Comment your link to me :) I'll add you.


Anonymous said...

I really liked this book -it made me think about how your actions can have a huge impact.

Ronda's Rants said...

I am not sure I could do it...I can see the need for this kind of book...I have taught sex ed to preteens and young adults through our church but this is I think every family's worse nightmare!
Good for you for reading it and doing the review!
I think with the right group it sounds like an interesting book for discussion.

R-Lo said...

Bethany, you're quite the early bird posting at 5 am! The sexual content thing you mention here doesn't bother me, but I'd never pick up any of Shreve's books based on their cheesy cover art alone. In other words, they practically blare "SAPPY HALLMARK GREETING CARD INSIDE!!!" Do you ever "judge" a book just because of a cover or are you above that (unlike me!)?

Rebecca@ The Book Lady's Blog said...

I read this one last week...didn't love it but didn't hate it. My review is here. Sexual content in general doesn't bother me, and I didn't think this was really all that graphic.

Anonymous said...

It sounds intriguing :)

Anna said...

This one's in my TBR pile, and I can't wait to get started on it. I'm a huge Shreve fan, and I hope this one doesn't disappoint. I don't remember any of Shreve's other books going overboard in the sex department, but I can't really say anything about this book until I've read it. Thanks for the review!

Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

I really loved this book. Check out my review here:


I think this book really impacted me!

I'll add your link to my review.

Trish said...

I have several Shreve books on the shelf--mostly read. I enjoy her writing, but this one sounds like a really tough read! I think I'll wait until the paperback version comes out, but I'll definitely be putting it on the list. Beautiful review, Bethany.