Reconstructing Amelia

ameliaReconstructing Amelia
by Kimberly McWreight
2013 / 382 pages
read by Khristine Hvam
rating –   B+ / crime  (YA?)

This might have been more interesting in print or ebook format because much of the narrative is told via emails and text messages and just listening the reader doesn’t get the visual impression.  But Hvam is a good narrator and the book moved along smoothly.

Amelia Baron,  the 15-year old,  very bright and creative daughter of a very hard working attorney mom, goes to an upscale private school in Brooklyn.     There she has to deal with seriously malicious clique, but does that, at least for awhile, with the help of a best friend, Sylvia who is apparently more concerned about boys more than with Amelia’s problems.

So when Amelia’s body is found dead from a fall off the top of one of the buildings,  it is assumed to be the result of suicide.  There is the word “Sorry” scrawled on a very nearby  wall.  The police did a summary investigation and Mom, Kate Baron,  is left to grieve.  Amelia must have had problems she told Kate nothing about even though the two were very close.

Then one day Kate gets a text which says that her daughter’s death was not a suicide and things begin to fall into place for Kate – well,  fall in place is not  quite the right phrase – Kate starts hunting for the truth.   The rest of the novel “reconstructing” Amelia’s last couple weeks of life and watching Kate get a bit unhinged as she goes  out on her own investigations in spite of the fact there is a very good detective assigned to the case.  It gets rather complex.

This story is told in two parts – one part is 1st person from the point of view of Amelia and set in the weeks leading up to her death. We watch her go through all sorts of   The other point of view is told in 3rd person but from the point of view of Kate in the weeks following  her daughter’s death.  The two stories work on each other building the tension.

McWreight writes nicely – there’s lots of dialogue and imo she has the voice of a highly intelligent, literary type of t 15-year old girl pretty right on,  although most of the teens in the clique seem far more mouthy and grown up about certain things than the ones I know (of course,  what is it we grandmas know – lol?).   The narrator is great with the women’s voices and although not so hot with the men’s,   the overall experience was enjoyable.