Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel

Hardcover | September 22, 2014

byKimberly Mccreight

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In Reconstructing Amelia, the stunning debut novel from Kimberly McCreight, Kate's in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—now. But Kate’s stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it’s already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.

An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least that’s the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one she forces herself to believe. Until she gets an anonymous text: She didn’t jump.

Reconstructing Amelia is about secret first loves, old friendships, and an all-girls club steeped in tradition. But, most of all, it’s the story of how far a mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldn’t save.

Fans of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl will find Reconstructing Amelia just as gripping and surprising.

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From the Publisher

In Reconstructing Amelia, the stunning debut novel from Kimberly McCreight, Kate's in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—no...

From the Jacket

When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter.Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when sh...

Kimberly McCreight is the author ofReconstructing Amelia. ANew York Timesbestseller,Reconstructing Ameliawas nominated for an Edgar Award, an Anthony Award, and an Alex Award and has been acquired in seventeen countries. McCreight attended Vassar College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School from which she graduated cum laude. ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.38 × 6.38 × 1.29 inPublished:September 22, 2014Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006222543X

ISBN - 13:9780062225436

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engaging storyline. Quick read. My first impression of Reconstructing Amelia was that it reminded me of Gossip Girl, because of the anonymously authored blog and the private school, set in New York. It also reminded me of Law and Order: SVU. Although the changes in the timeline threw me off initially I did adjust to it. The formatting with the blog posts, text messages, emails and Facebook statuses helped to keep the story current. I think this will be appealing to many readers. It also helps to move along the story, making for a quick read.
Date published: 2015-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Well written, and kept me guessing til the end! Felt like I got to know the characters.
Date published: 2015-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Kimberly McCreight will grab you and not let go. Did not want to put the book down, even at the end. Vivid characters and a gripping way to unravel the tangled web. Splendid writing and anxiously awaiting another from McCreight!!!
Date published: 2015-05-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An engaging read. The mystery of the story line holds you to the end. The characters were believable. Be prepared to read texting. Most I knew some I didn't but it did not effect the reading of the plot line.
Date published: 2015-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reconstructing Amelia I really enjoyed the book I found it twisted which I liked at the end who I thought it was it wasn't that person I got a shock of my life when I found out who did it...
Date published: 2015-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Similar to gone girl In that both have endings that make me go is that it? That's all? But I will give it 5 for an interesting ride
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surpised One of the best books I've read in a long time. The issues raised are a sad part of our children's reality. Still, the way McCreight built her story around bullying is going to haunt me for a very long time! I'll miss Amelia although I realize she was just a fictional character! McCreight obviously did her job well to get that kind of reaction by the end of the story.
Date published: 2014-09-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Twist Lets just say I did not see that coming...not sure if I'm disappointed or if I like it....
Date published: 2014-08-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Reconstructing review I enjoyed the writing style and that it wasn't too far fetched but I could have used a but more character description.
Date published: 2014-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reconstructing Amelia We should all be reminded to be frank.... secrets and lies could lead to..... death
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Reconstructing Amelia - A Novel I enjoyed it a lot. I know Secret Societies exist in Universities and many other types of Organizations. I can believe that the hazing that has been described in this book is probably quite tame compared to some extreme Society initiations such as The Skulls andor the Mason's. Why else would they go to such lengths to maintain their secrets!
Date published: 2014-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read! I read this book in two days - I could not put it down. A realistic and heartbreaking glimpse into the world of cyber-bullying, and the impacts that it can have on even the most real-rounded and seemingly strong and independent individual. Very well-written and poignant from both the perspective of the mother, which is heart-breaking and self-reflective, and the daughter, which is innocent, inquisitive and misguided. A highly recommended book.
Date published: 2014-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book gripped me from the start. I never wanted to put it down! Such a fascinating story.
Date published: 2014-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Had me guessing and on the edge of my seat until the very end.
Date published: 2014-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What we think we know.... This book is an amazing journey into the life of a teenager who, on the surface, appears to be healthy, happy and well adjusted. Under the surface lurks all the deepest, darkest secrets of adolescence. Wanting to belong, the journey of discovering sexuality, peer pressure, bullying and the power of social media in a teenager's life. What we think we know about our children isn't who they really are. It's a real head's up about just how sophisticated and complicated the life and times of a teenager in this era really is.
Date published: 2014-05-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Reconstructing Amelia Not really sure what to say. There were definite highs but I never felt connected to the storyline. I do think the way the author chose to illustrate the teen dialogue was a current and correct choice.
Date published: 2014-04-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Reconstructing Amelia What an amazing read! Just when you think you have it all figured out, there would be another set of twists and turns that would keeping you guessing.
Date published: 2014-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reconstructing Amelia Fantastic, some of the famous writers could take a lesson from Kimberly, using fillers to write their stories, this author knows how to hold your attention, hope she has other books out ,going now to search.
Date published: 2014-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Reconstructing Amelia Very good reading
Date published: 2014-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book! I liked the writing in this book, the way the story was laid out offering clues throughout the whole story. I especially liked the various narratives from Facebook, the blog and text messages. The story was great, took off quickly and kept me reading....and guessing.
Date published: 2014-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book This book was an excellent heart wrenching read. It's a little strange to follow sometimes but that adds to the suspense.
Date published: 2014-02-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mean girls This is a tragic story about bullies and bullying. While the story is set in a private high school in Brooklyn, the bullying transcends the high school and applies to the adults and teenagers alike. Other reviewers have compared this book to "Gossip Girl" and I can definitely see the similarities in respect of a blog and blasts that know and share the character's deepest secrets. Hazing rituals. The popular and the privileged. This story is told in alternating voices - between the lonely, accomplished and seemingly well-adjusted teenager; and her single, accomplished and seemingly well-adjusted mother. The story might have been more convincing had the author played up the "Gilmour Girls" angle of the mother/daughter relationship. There were definitely some twists and turns I didn't see coming, but the ending for me was anti-climactic. An important read for parents of teenagers, but otherwise just ok.
Date published: 2013-09-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good little book! This book was definitely a quick read but also great. It takes on a serious topic of teenage bullying and definitely shows that sometimes adults are just as bad.
Date published: 2013-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great novel, well written This story follows a mother who is attempting to follow her daughters last steps before she committed suicide. It is a great story of love, social cliques, perception and teen pressures to belong somewhere. It was very well written, fast paced and a quick read.
Date published: 2013-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Frighteningly real.... Reconstructing Amelia is Kimberly McCreight's debut novel. Kate Baron is a single mother to Amelia and a partner in a law firm. Her job keeps her incredibly busy, but when she receives a telephone call from her daughter's exclusive private school, she has to cut her day short. Amelia has been suspended - for cheating. This is completely out of character for her daughter - Kate is annoyed at the faculty and the fact that she has to leave a meeting with an important client. But what she finds when she arrives at Grace Hall is beyond comprehension - Amelia is dead. Suicide the cops say. Kate is on autopilot, dealing with the funeral and trying to come to terms with the fact that Amelia is gone when she receives an anonymous text - "Amelia didn't jump." Kate never believed her daughter would kill herself and now she sets out to prove it. She 'reconstructs' Amelia's life from journals, text messages, Facebook entries, emails and the school's gossip blog. McCreight unravels Amelia's life in alternate chapters from Kate's viewpoint and that of Amelia herself. Reconstructing Amelia is frightening in that it echos many of today's headlines - bullying deaths to be specific. This isn't an easy read/listen - my heart broke for Kate and I just wanted to grab Amelia and protect her. And it made me very afraid for anyone with a teenage daughter. McCreight's plotting keeps us guessing with many red herrings and twists along the way. I did choose to listen to this book - Kristine Hvam was the reader and she was excellent. She has a very versatile voice - easily portraying teenage tones and switching to the adult characters effortlessly. The teen voices were particularly effective. Listen to an excerpt of Reconstructing Amelia. Although not listed as YA fiction, I can see Reconstructing Amelia as a crossover title. And it would spark much discussion between mothers and daughters or in book clubs. A reading guide is available. Nicole Kidman has signed on to produce and star in an HBO film of Reconstructing Amelia.
Date published: 2013-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unputdownable Is The Only Way To Describe It! It was over far too quickly. Reconstructing Amelia, Kim McCreight's debut novel reads as if written by an author who has been putting out books for decades. This is anything but a novice storytelling. The story of Kate, a single mom left to put the pieces together after her only daughter's apparent suicide, is expertly crafted and beautifully written. Kate, a lawyer, knows her daughter. And she knows that there is no way that Amelia would have committed suicide. But her grief has diminished her capacity to fight for her daughter's memory until she receives a mysterious text message telling her that "Amelia didn't jump". The text message sends Kate on a journey to find out exactly what happened to her daughter and in the process she also finds out that she may not have known Amelia as well as she thought. Kim McCreight is a skilled writer and her ability to write what is essentially two stories running concurrently is amazing and a joy to read. Told from Kate and Amelia's points of view McCreight weaves a story that successfully keeps the reader wondering how it will all end right up until it's poignant conclusion. The two points of view are so complementary and intricately woven that the story is seamless. Sometimes writers can lose the reader with too much back and forth but McCreight handles this beautifully. I loved this book! I read the large print version and at 574 pages, it was over far too soon. It was an absolute page-turner and I highly recommend it! Unputdownable!!!
Date published: 2013-04-22

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Editorial Reviews

“A tale of elaborate mystery intertwined with the tenderness of a mother’s love, Reconstructing Amelia exudes suspense at every turn…. Gripping and tragic, [it] is a true page turner.”