Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel

Paperback | December 3, 2013

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

Litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron is shocked when her daughter's exclusive Brooklyn private school calls to tell her that Amelia—her intelligent, high-achieving fifteen-year-old—has been caught cheating. But when Kate arrives at Grace Hall, she's blindsided by far more devastating news: Amelia is dead. Despondent, ...

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:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.9 inPublished:December 3, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062225448

ISBN - 13:9780062225443

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from EXCELLENT FIRST BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR Kate Baron is a successful professional and a single mom. During a meeting she is interrupted by a telephone call that will change her life forever. Her daughter has been caught cheating on a paper and Kate needs to come to the school right away. When Kate arrives at the school, late and angry at herself and Amelia she is given the worst news a mother could get -- her daughter has committed suicide. Shutting herself off from everyone and everything while she grieves her daughter Kate receives an anonymous text message saying that her daughter did not kill herself. Going through old emails and text messages on her daughter’s cell phone Kate begins to understand that she did not really know as much about Amelia as she always thought she did. But did she or didn’t she jump off that roof? This book flips back and forth in time – as Kate begins to reconstruct Amelia’s life through electronic trails every time she comes across a new tidbit the narrative voice changes to that of Amelia telling the actual events of that very scenario in her life. Events and conversations that Kate could have no way of knowing first hand. At first it was a little confusing, but the rhythm of the story soon smoothed out. Lots of twists and turns and surprises made this a very interesting book to read. Although I knew it was building to some kind of crescendo, when the actual facts about Amelia’s death is revealed I was surprised. Always the mark of a good book. I particularly enjoyed the believable mother/daughter relationship between Kate and Amelia, complete with the ups and downs that come with raising a teenager. This is an excellent first novel by Ms. McCreight.
Date published: 2015-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Must Read Novel The story is fantastic, well paced, gripping and touches on some important issues teens face. Everyone, young and old, should read this story as a reminder of the relationships we sacrifice for, the ones we sacrifice, and how quickly one poor choice can spiral out of control. Incredible read with so many powerful moments!
Date published: 2014-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Complex Story Kept Me Guessing Excellent book. The characters were (mostly) multi-layered and believable. I related to both the main characters. There were lots of surprises as the story unfolded and some of the background was made known. I enjoyed the technology aspect of the story, how so much interaction was via email and text and how that affects what we really know about other people. There were a few loose ends I would have preferred to see tied up a little tighter but it didn't really affect the overall rating. 5 of 5 - would buy another book by this author without hesitation.
Date published: 2014-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read! I couldn't put the book down! It's a real page turner and keeps you in suspense until the very end. Can't wait for Kimberly McCreight's next book!  I'm a fan:)
Date published: 2014-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great novel! This is the first book I read in 2014 and I have to say that it was a quick read. I couldn't put this book down. It is told in two different perspectives: the mother Kate and the dead daughter Amelia. Amelia's portion of the story is from the past, before her "suicide" and Kate's story is told after Amelia's "suicide". McCreight also throws in a few Facebook status updates and blog entries. This book grips you from the very beginning. You can't help but want to know what is going on while reading this story. The circumstances behind Amelia's death are quite suspect but for some reason in the beginning Kate is getting some push back from the local police in charge of the investigation. As a result she decides to take matters into her own hands. We find out that Amelia may have gotten involved with a very volatile group of girls at her school. She begins to pull away from her best friend and becomes more involved in a secret club. She is also texting some mysterious boy. All of this is unknown to her mother. I think this book really explores the relationship between a mother and a daughter. I really liked their relationship but you can see that there is a lot that Amelia keeps from her mother. I think this is a part of being a teenager. Regardless of how close you are with your mother when you start to get older you try to figure out who you are. A part of that is experimentation and trying to fit in and I think that this is precisely what Amelia is doing. The writing in this novel is quite good. It is well done and as I said before I couldn't put this book down. She makes you feel for each of the characters in a very real day. The blurb compares this novel with Gone Girl in the sense that it is surprising but I would say that there were some things that I guessed along the way. The very ending though was something that I did not predict. I was shocked to find out what actually happened to Amelia. I think that you should go out and get this book as soon as you can. It is an adult novel but it does have some cross-over appeal for YA lovers.
Date published: 2014-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tells it all.... What an eye opener! Gives real insight into the lives of our teenagers as they move along through social media and peer pressure. Their search for identity is frightening. Glad I as too old to have to face many of their choices and struggles.
Date published: 2014-01-08

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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.”