The Best Kind of People by Zoe WhittallThe Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittallsticker-burst

The Best Kind of People

byZoe Whittall

Paperback | August 27, 2016

see the collection Heather's Picks

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 115 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


National Bestseller

2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist

National Post 99 Best Books of the Year

Indigo Best Book of the Year

Globe and Mail Best 100 Books of 2016

What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?

George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father's defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men's rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?

With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.

Zoe Whittall is the author of The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (2001), The Emily Valentine Poems (2006), and Precordial Thump (2008), and the editor of Geeks, Misfits, & Outlaws (2003). Her debut novel Bottle Rocket Hearts (2007) made the Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year and CBC Canada Reads' Top Ten Essential Novels of the De...
Title:The Best Kind of PeopleFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:424 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.95 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.25 × 0.95 inPublished:August 27, 2016Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770899421

ISBN - 13:9781770899421


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn’t put it down! Loved this book. Very relevant in today’s climate and appreciated the author doing outside research to make the experiences of the characters as authentic to reality as possible. Couldn’t put it down and the plot flows nicely. Also love that the author is a Canadian!
Date published: 2018-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Read Excellent character development and writing. I liked how the plot focused on the emotion's of the family and not the character. The first 3/4 was stronger than the last quarter towards the end. I think the end could have looked different, but this book kept my attention and I found the topic and emotional angst of the family left to pick up the pieces real.
Date published: 2018-12-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It was good The book was good although i did expect more of a story and the ending did disappoint me, i couldn't help feeling almost confused. It wasn't terrible though, i did enjoy it, just wished there was more.
Date published: 2018-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible, introspective novel from Canadian author, Whittall Whittall jumps from the perspective of her characters with ease, creating an easy-to-read yet heart-wrenching novel about coming to terms with the fact that those closest to us are capable of harm. She has you questioning the entire novel, creating a mystery less so consumed by the details of the crimes themselves but rather in the effects they bear on the perpetrator's loved ones. Amazing read, and particularly poignant in our current socio-political climate!
Date published: 2018-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Have to admit.. little disappointed! Don't get me wrong, this novel was good and worth reading. However, after all the awards and recommandations, my expectations were pretty high. The storyline was great and it was well written, but the ending left me disappointed.
Date published: 2018-11-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I do not understand... ...all the positive reviews. This book is a terrible waste of time and money. The plot is thin at best and an awkward cliche at worst. The characters are embarrassing cartoons. Do editors even exist anymore? Zero stars really but that doesn't seem to be an option.
Date published: 2018-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Difficult Story Written Beautifully Trust can be broken by actions, what is said and what is not said. This book is beautifully written about the difficult subject of rape and how it effects, everyone involved. The way the story takes us through the viewpoints of several key characters, it becomes apparent that when trust is broken, it is very hard to repair. From my own experience with broken trust, the feeling of questioning the past never goes away, like a pit, waiting to emerge when you least expect it. This book has been one of my favourite reads, this year. The writer transforms you into the small town, into the story and you fall in love with the characters, wanting only whats best for them and to know the real truth.
Date published: 2018-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finished quickly This book did not take me long to read at all. I had to keep reading to find out what happened. I was a little disappointed by the ending but I would read books by this author again.
Date published: 2018-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Binge-worthy I binge read this book in one day. While an easy read, it's a good one. The characters are genuine, their thoughts raw. This book forces you to think about perspective.
Date published: 2018-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different Perspective Absolutely loved this book. I found it super relevant with all that's going on in the media today. It showed a different perspective of how a family and other lives can be affected due to a scandal. Really goes into the 'innocent until proven guilty' falsehood and the stigma that suddenly gets attached to an accused and the family. I found the writing excellent and captivating. Would recommend.
Date published: 2018-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly, a very easy read! I knew the topic of this book was a very heavy and difficult subject. I was surprised when I started reading how gripping the story is and I finished it within the night. The topic certainly isn't easy, but her writing flows in such a way you can't stop reading until you finish. In terms of content, I felt the book was building to a climax that didn't quite peak. However, a minor criticism.
Date published: 2018-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought provoking to say the least I binge-read this book in one day...The storyline and characters felt raw and organic, and the ending left me thinking for days.
Date published: 2018-07-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought-Provoking Reading this book was a challenge, given the subject matter (inappropriate relationships between teachers and students). Several people with whom I'm very close are teachers, and the thought of being enmeshed in something like that is very affecting for me, personally. I found the novel very strong in that it was difficult to tell at times whose side you were supposed to be on, at least for me. And I think that speaks not only to how earth-shatteringly awful sexual assault (or an allegation thereof) is but how hard it is to know for certain what the truth is. In the novel, the truth is revealed at the end, which in my opinion weakens the narrative. I think it's more affecting and thought-provoking if you're left not knowing. That's just my personal opinion, though. I found the novel very strong, and very well-rendered.
Date published: 2018-06-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh I was really excited to read this, as it had great reviews. It was a Heather’s Pixk book and usually that doesn’t steer me wrong so I was optimistic. I was disappointed. I found the whole story kind of blah. I wasn’t invested in the characters, I thought the climax was non existent...waste of money.
Date published: 2018-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book I read this book for my english assignment and Im really glad I did!
Date published: 2018-06-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Started so strong but weak ending. This book was exciting and captivating in the beginning but the ending was a big disappointment.
Date published: 2018-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Great read about relationships and the effects of someones actions on everyone around them.
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good read This book was a good read. It depicts the true nature of relationships and how one action can have a devastating ripple effect on a community and within a family.
Date published: 2018-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this! Great story, couldn't put it down. Deals with the tough issues that are a hot topic in today's headlines.
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A charcacter-driven novel that leaves you a little uneasy. Loved it! This was my first novel from Zoe Whittall, and I can't wait to read more! If you like stories that wrap up neatly, this may not be for you. On more than one occasion, the characters will leave you feeling torn. Are they acting the right thing? Is there even a right way to act when someone you love is accused of something unthinkable? What I loved most is that Whittall never spells out the answers for you. So many opinions and perspectives are represented by the characters (and these perspectives evolve over time), so you'll never be 100% certain. Just when you start to side with someone, you're asked to rethink it. The writing isn't too complex, but it's compelling. Very excited to see the film adaptation.
Date published: 2018-05-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent!!! I read this book in two days, and for me that was incredibly quick!!! I couldn't put it down. I recommend this book for everyone!!!
Date published: 2018-05-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Left Wanting This book was well written, and the idea behind the story was great. I read this book fairly quickly, as I wanted to know the truth. Some sections of the book seemed a bit slow, but that also helped the suspense last a bit longer. While I enjoyed the book, the ending seemed to come a bit abruptly, and I felt as though the ending was lacking after the hype to get there, and felt a bit unfinished. Still would recommend due to the discussion of the criminal justice system and the lives that are affected by an accused. #indigoreview #plumreview
Date published: 2018-05-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Took a while to get to the point But when the story did eventually build it was a good read.
Date published: 2018-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this I got this book as a gift and I could not put it down!! such an interesting read
Date published: 2018-05-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too Slow This book had the potential to be a great story but it was a slow read and it doesn't build up
Date published: 2018-05-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not The Greatest This was a very slow building read - Poorly developed characters and a plot that I couldn't bring myself to care about
Date published: 2018-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought provoking Pulls you in with the plot but you stay for the characters
Date published: 2018-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Absolutely recommended I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It was easy to get in to, and engaging enough to keep going. The kind of book where you try to imagine what you would do, if you were one of the characters. I was a little dissapointed in the ending, only because I wanted the book to keep going and didn't feel like I got enough closure on the stoy.
Date published: 2018-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Storyline This was a really good read. Great storyline and quite the page turner.
Date published: 2018-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! The book is really interesting. I loved the plot development!
Date published: 2018-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good book This was a really good book, with dark subject matter. It was a really good read, I would recommend it!
Date published: 2018-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good! I really loved this book. It was a hard one to put down for sure. I enjoyed the character development and it was written very well.
Date published: 2018-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought-Provoking Read Great storyline, especially with everything happening these days. I was instantly pulled into the story from the first page; however, the ending didn't do the story or the subject any justice. #PlumReview
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I expected It was a good read, however I felt it dragged on. Was also not a fan of the ending.
Date published: 2018-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Page Turner At first I was reluctant to read this novel just because of the content; however, when I learned that it was more of a perspective novel I was more open to reading it and so glad that I did! This novel is about a teacher who is accused of sexual impropriety; however, it examines the perspectives and reactions not only of the community but of each family member. It was a difficult novel to put down but I will say that it ended abruptly.
Date published: 2018-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Riveting and Realistic I wanted to punch several of the main characters throughout the story, which I always take as a good sign. The ending is particularly realistic, gritty, and surprising. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inner Circle A riveting read about a private family crisis that is lived out in the public eye.
Date published: 2018-03-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Made me Think Read this book for a book club - I enjoyed reading it and gave us a lot to discuss for book club. At times the plot did seem a bit drawn out.
Date published: 2018-03-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Informative and thought provoking I liked how this book made you think about its lessons even after you've finished. A wonderful read on morality and ethics!
Date published: 2018-03-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very relevant to today's world I really enjoyed this book, it was interesting seeing the different character perspectives. I actually sort of enjoyed the ending, even though some people felt it didn't wrap up neatly.
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I really enjoyed this book I couldn't put this down. It was a bit predictable, however I enjoyed the writing and story.
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought-provoking This book brings forward an often unheard perspective that challenges the reader and brings up questions of an ethical and moral nature.
Date published: 2018-03-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from eavesdropping on a family crisis While the crisis happens in the first chapters, this book seems slow at first. The inner world of each character is explored thoroughly before the pace picks up as they start to grapple with how their family dynamics have changed. An interesting read.
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put this book down!! Must read. I was unable to get this book out of my head for a week after I finished it.
Date published: 2018-02-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not worth my time. I usually never dislike a book. But this one was a total waste of time for me. I would't recommend this book at all. Better to invest your time elsewhere. The characters weren't believable. Could not connect with them. Important issue but poorly written.
Date published: 2018-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST READ!! Thought provoking and must read!! Stayed with me for days after.....
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good I would say overall this is a good book. Good story line, with a very present issue. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. Without spoiling, the end the book with the trial/verdict, then a 6 page epilogue (6 pages on my kobo at least). I did not feel like it was enough of an explanation; I was waiting for the final A HA! moment where the accused gives his side of the story... nope. Or maybe even have the victims come forward and explain even remotely what he had done... nope again. so really, I can't make my own determination if he was guilty which I just didn't like. It was great that it had you wondering the whole time, back and forth between innocent and guilty impressions. But it really should've had some finality where HE IS GUILTY or HE IS INNOCENT. Regardless of the verdict I feel that this question was not answered
Date published: 2018-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What don't I know about the people I trust? This will make you rethink how you feel about most the people in your life and wonder what you've missed. Glad I read it but it may keep you up for a few nights.
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I liked it! I enjoyed the book, it was great in explaining what the family went through during this confusing and devastating time, but i thought the story would involve more on what their father/husband was actually accused off. Not just talking about the family dynamics. But overall good read
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Like watching an accident you can't look away from Very well written book and I read it all the way through from the moment I picked it up. It details a horrific family event and the complex feelings the family members face in the aftermath. A great read!
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Loved this book simply because it felt like a true story, something that could happen to anyone's family. The author tells the story in a manner that is easy to follow and imagine yourself. Definitely worth the purchase! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book A very important story that breaks down the collateral damage for these crimes, wish the ending had a bit more too it but it was not unacceptable - fantastic writing, will look into more by this author for sure.
Date published: 2018-01-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from unlikable characters, sure! unlikable writing, hard pass. An important story about how we treat and investigate sexual assault claims and how it can taint a family. however, this author was not the right person to write it.
Date published: 2018-01-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book did not hold my attention. The characters were flat
Date published: 2018-01-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An OK Read With the story being what it was, I expected a bit more from the ending especially. It was a decent enough book, but you could really guess all of the next parts before you read them. It's worth reading, but I guess I had higher hopes.
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Love reading a chapter before bed.
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Love reading a chapter before bed.
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE IT Fantastic book and storyline - the author really knows how to draw the readers in. I took this book on a trip to mexico, and could not put it down! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Beginning was great but ending was a bit much, hopefully it will get better the next book
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't wait to continue reading!! I picked this up while at a Christmas party over the holidays and hid in a corner to read as much as I could until I was caught - made it to page 36 and can't wait to continue reading!! Absolutely a page turner!
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I was a little disappointed with the ending
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from it was fine It kept me reading but it was a bit predictable.
Date published: 2017-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page Turner I really enjoyed reading this novel. The characters were unpredictable which I especially liked as it kept me engaged until the very end.
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I loved it to the ending. The ending was a bit too much, but I have hope that the series will be redeemed
Date published: 2017-12-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty Good This was a pretty quick read, the story moves easily enough with only a few character lulls. The mystery is great but the unpredictable nature of the characters is the real selling point.
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Loved it and read it so quick
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! Such a great read. I love how the author covered all of the characters.
Date published: 2017-12-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I read this book very quickly, it was difficult to put down
Date published: 2017-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible, timely, important. An engaging, important story.
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed - but a nice read I read reviews of this book expecting a life changing story line. I rushed through the book, waiting for the punch line to appear, but it never did. The story lacks substance, and sometimes feels like its far-fetched... I enjoyed it, but as a nice holiday, relaxing book. I guess if I hadn't expected as much, maybe I would have liked it more..
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book consumed me. I lived in every word, and felt every feeling.
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Masterpeice I borrowed this book from a friend and really enjoyed the way the writer went into to detail. the common issues that are happening in out culture right now are very touching.
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't put this down! Very interesting read (especially with #metoo gaining so much attention these days). Loved some characters, others did not do much for me, but I still think the author managed to explain well the feelings that come with a situation like this. The ending was unsettling for me, but i can understand why she chose it. Very interesting read, couldn't put this down and read it in 2 days!
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Talks about issues present in our society.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Thought it would be better Found it hard to really get in to. Ended up skimming so I'd be able to talk about it with the person who lent it to me. It was ok, not terrible but not great.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Moving Story A good read that started strong and kept going. Took an interesting take on the subject matter and what can happen when justice isn't perfect.
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read An interesting perspective. A difficult topic. Complex and engrossing characters. A great read.
Date published: 2017-11-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Fell short I enjoyed the opening scene of the story, but the rest of the novel fell short for me. I expected more from a novel such as this, which was nominated for numerous awards.
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Read, but didn't do subject justice I thought the book was well written and it was readable, but the story itself and the characters weren't really fully formed or developed to the extent it needed to be. It could have been more gripping, more relevant - although this is perhaps in light of all that is coming out now. Generally a glossy, light read on a gritty subject.
Date published: 2017-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from harrowing a harrowing read--difficult at times but worth it.
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this! Such a good story! Keeps you interested throughout! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved every page I could not put this book down. It was so captivating and you get so engrossed in the characters. I was invested in them and just kept wanting to know more. Great read
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good Read! I didn't love this book, but just wanted to continue reading to find out what happens at the end. #plumreviews
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Inspiring Loved the book #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read A great account of an all-too-real and disappointing phenomenon. Rushed a little at the end but still enjoyable. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from writing is on point this book is a great quick study #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from writing is on point this book is a great quick study #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Thought it was pretty good but not spectacular
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I found the writing a bit boastful and dull at the same time.
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No! I was sorely disappointed by this one. I went in expecting something reminiscent of a Jodi Picoult book, however, it was far from hitting that mark. I heard great things about this book, and I knew that it was written by a Canadian author, but all of the hopes I had built up around this one came crashing down as I got further and further into this boring mess. Long story short, I wouldn’t recommend this one and I don’t really have a lot to say about it. I
Date published: 2017-11-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from overall enjoyable I found the story became fairly underwhelming at the end with a rushed conclusion. Overall it was well written and I was invested in the characters which is why I think I felt that way about the ending. Easy but not "light" reading, and overall enjoyable
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok i am so excited for this to arrive!
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I thought I would be lost with no idea about what was going on within the story or the characters. Man, I'm happy I was wrong on that account.
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from no It's not especially well-written and basically serves as millennial bait.
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from no It's not especially well-written and basically serves as millennial bait.
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Recommended. easy read, even though the ending gave me a lot of thoughts
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Decent read I read through this easily, and I did want to keep reading all the way through. The verdict did surprise me, and I won't give away what I thought to keep the spoilers at bay. And the very end... didn't really surprise me because of ... well, how these things work out sometimes for everyone. Worth the read I think. It wasn't the most exciting read, but I am happy I read it.
Date published: 2017-10-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good book A very easy read. Good storyline with lots of twists.
Date published: 2017-10-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Underwhelming The first chapter was the best part of the book. It was dark, twisted and suspenseful. It set the book up for great success however it did not measure up. The book was well written and the characters well developed, however the story line was dry and dragged out. Not what I was expecting, but happy to support a Canadian author.
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very well written This book was as stated above, very well written, and I found the plot engaging enough that I basically couldn't put the book down for two days. That being said, I found the ending rather depressing though whether this is the fault of the book or just a sad reflection of current societal norms, I really can't say. I would have liked more insight into the father's mindset though as I felt there was a much better grasp of all of the female characters points of view but not the main character/villain. Was this perhaps a device used to reflect on that character as being more of an every man and therefore more of a damning judgement of Man - who knows for sure but perhaps.
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Was ok Not boring but not exciting. The type of book that is predictable.
Date published: 2017-10-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright Good read, at times difficult due to topic, but would recommend
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I read quite a bit over the last few days. The plot-twists left me shocked and confused in the best way. It left me thinking hard, pondering every detail of the book. I would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I read quite a bit over the last few days. The plot-twists left me shocked and confused in the best way. It left me thinking hard, pondering every detail of the book. I would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy Read It's a very easy book to read, the story and writing flow nicely. However, it's a bit superficial both as social commentary and character examination. The main characters do not have any meaningful conflicts among themselves. Each develops on a separate subplot with generally 1-dimensional secondary characters. They also do not seem genuine. They display moments of intelligence and self-awareness (via dialogue) but their feelings/inner conflicts are not examined and few of them show any growth. I found it difficult to relate to the characters because their motivations are either inconsistent or not explained. It's a beach read with a heavy subject matter at best.
Date published: 2017-10-04
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Such an interesting story, it was very hard to put down! Wish it had ended differently though. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Read, Wrapped Up Too Quickly This book pulled me in and had me wondering what the end result was going to be. While it held true to what would happen in real life, I found the book wrapped up the story it had developed, way too quickly in two short chapters.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Found it somewhat dry at times.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing Interesting premise. The plot moved along fairly quickly and it was overall an enjoyable read.
Date published: 2017-09-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't put this down! I read this book in literally 2 days. I could not put it down and cannot wait to read more from this author.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from couldn't get into it i got this book because i had heard such great things about it but it just wasn't my cup of tea. it didn't interest me and although most people who read it seem to like it, i wouldn't be able to recommend it to someone
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Something's Missing It was interesting enough to keep me reading til i reached the end... but that ending really left me wanting more, there was so much lead up to an ending that could have happened 200 pages sooner.. I will still recommend it for the story and the play on power struggles, age and sexual relationships
Date published: 2017-09-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Highly Recommend Everyone needs to read this book. What was interesting to me was how Whittall explored sexual assault as a power issue rather than a sex issue. People often conflate these two things when talking about rape. We see this when she delves into the other characters' stories. Whittall perfectly captured what it is to love someone so much but still have such hate for them in your heart. She's right - things aren't always so black and white. When you find out that someone you've loved for half your life has done something terrible, those feelings of love don't just disappear. There's a lot to sift through. The novel made me realize that someone else's actions can have a profound effect on their loved ones too. They are often forgotten. In case the news reporters' concerns for rapists' well-beings and futures, the harassment of sexual assault victims and the frat boys' chanting wasn't enough to clue you in, here's a little wake up call: Victim blaming is real. Rape denial is real. Rape culture is real. And anyone who says otherwise is delusional.
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page Turner! I couldn't put this book down, I just kept wanting to read more and more until I hit the end of the book!! I want more!
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok this is such a great book! I loved the plot, storyline, and everything in between!
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from eh this was a respected, well written story, however I really had problems with some tropes and some parts just didn't seem genuine.
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from !!! One of the best books I've read in a while.
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wanted more from this book I read this book based on the recommendation from a friend, I enjoyed it for the most part however I felt that there was some character development that was missing, I wanted more to be rooting for this family, as I was not that engaged/interested in the outcome or ending.
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Loved This! A very well written book that I couldn't put down.
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Shocking I enjoyed the book, but was disappointed in the end.
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable, but also lacking Overall I enjoyed this book because of the story it was trying to tell and the perspectives of each character. BUT... I find it was ultimately lacking something, and I'm not entirely sure what. The characters could have been a bit more well defined (in fact, I think some of the characters could have been removed completely), and I find that instances where the plot should have had an emotional impact it just... didn't. Still, an enjoyable read than makes you think.
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from yes I enjoyed this book so much
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating COuldn't put this book down
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good to ok read The first half to threes quarters was great and had me hooked. The last quarter was just slow and ended rather weirdly and was not sure what to make of the ending. I felt like it just left everything hanging.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from best kind of people heartbreaking. well written
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes I was pulled right into this novel from the first page
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from thrilling I was thrilled by the first half--make it maybe two-thirds--of the book (it started as a powerful straight punch) but eventually i felt disappointed. The ending was a big let-down for me, not particularly because of what happens, but rather because of how it's written. Whereas the first few chapters span over a few days, the final chapters don't have the minutiae of the beginning, and the epilogue sums up several months (i hate epilogues!) in a couple of paragraphs. I noticed that several people commented on the very last sentence, to express their frustration with it, and i actually think it's a very strong sentence designed exactly to the purpose of frustrating the reader (and expressing a terrible, frustrating reality). However, the 2-3 chapters leading to that sentence actually felt rushed, definitely sloppier than the first half. I also feel that there were some inconsistencies within the novel and that it tried to tackle a little too much. Several scenes or secondary plot paralleled back to the main events, but I felt they were not exploited to their full potential.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from no This has to be the weirdest book I have read. What a bunch of descriptive nonsense
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed it This book was entertaining and easy to read.
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining Not overly memorable, but an entertaining summer book!
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Would not read this again The plot was good but the writing lacked emotion and creativity.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overrated It was well-written but it felt as if it was written to be well-written and not much else. It wasn't as exciting as I was hoping it would it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-09-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A bit lacking I didn't find the book to be very engaging. It hooked me off the start and then I kept waiting for it to match the initial suspense...
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from very nice a good weekend read that's a total page turner
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from wow i previewed the book and was instantly hooked, great read!
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh! Was really intrigued by this book initially, was super excited to read it but thought there would be more to it! I kept reading thinking the story was going to take a turn but it didn't. It was ok overall, well written but fell a little short.
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent! I really enjoyed this book. I was in a reading funk for a while and as soon as I picked this up, I couldn't put it down. Excellent story! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! couldn't put it down. highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wild Very interesting book, lots of witty stuff.
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Canadian Fiction I have been on a good run with some fabulous Canadian authors, and this book was no exception. This is the story of a husband/father/teacher who is accused of sexual interference with four minors while supervising a school field trip. The perspective switches from his wife Joan, to his daughter Sadie and finally, his son Andrew. All viewpoints are compelling and heart wrenching. To see the aftermath of this situation from the eyes of the family, rather than from the accused, is unusual and very powerful. 4 Stars (only because I thought it wrapped up a bit too quickly and there were a few storylines left dangling that I was still curious about…Jimmy anyone???)
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from many important messages was this book captivating from start to finish? absolutely not. however... it had major concepts about sexual assault and the stigma that surrounds it which is often overlooked/not talked about enough. i think there are very important messages within this novel involving rape culture, how there is not a "clear" definition of sexual assault, and the technicalities and hardships which surround it that are sometimes left in the dark. i think it's an important read, however i was very let down with the ending.
Date published: 2017-08-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Didn't meet my expectations - but made me want to keep reading. I was looking forward to reading this book, but it wasn't what I was expecting. It was slow in the beginning, got better in the middle, but the excitement was never met with the drama I initially was imagining. After finishing the last page I was okay with the uncertainty of what happened, but it was not as exciting and intriguing as I wanted.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating and well-written I bought this book as a read for a book club. In reading the synopsis, I wasn't sure if it would be a good fit for me - but it was very well-written and took a surprising twist that kept the momentum going. I highly recommend reading this book!
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A promising book at first glance... A promising book at first glance. The synopsis drew me in, and the first half of the book drew me in even more. The problem I had with this book is that it seemed like the author either ran out of ideas or didn't know how to properly wrap the story up. I was left a tad confused by the ending.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Do not recommend Easy to get into the book and it's a quick read, but very little action - you expect much more to happen. Did not like the ending. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended! Zoe Whittall is one of my all-time favourite authors, and I would argue that this is her best book yet. Through a variety of characters, she explores the implications of sexual allegations on a family and community... and explores consent in a variety of forms. As in life, there are no easy answers, no black and white characters, no clear-cut endings. Messy, timely, and thoughtful.
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Impressive letdown. I was SOOOOO intrigued by this novel's premise and soaked up the first 100 pages while delayed on the tarmac. But after that, it was just downhill. The characters were so self-absorbed and often behaved in ways that were inconsistent with their own personality and character, and the entire thing felt like more of a melodrama. There was so much potential to touch on such a subject with wisdom and compassion but the whole thing fell flat. In the last handful of pages, the author threw in the Ghost In the Machine with regard to the trial that never happens and completely gave up on the story. While I'll certainly not dwell on whether or not George did it (which says a lot - I'm a famous dweller), I'm feeling quite bitter about the fact that I wasted hours and 15$ on this immensely over-hyped, eye-roll of a novel. How this thing won a major Canadian literary award, I'll never know.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is for sure a must read! This was a very interesting novel to read. It is unlike any other novel that I have read before. The author writes about difficult topics to understand, however she writes about them in an easy to understand way that does not confuse the readers. She writes about relationships between teachers and students, about how this "secret" takes a toll on the families that are involved. It is a novel that has a lot od depth to it and it is very intriguing and definitely a page-turner.
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is for sure a must read! This was a very interesting novel to read. It is unlike any other novel that I have read before. The author writes about difficult topics to understand, however she writes about them in an easy to understand way that does not confuse the readers. She writes about relationships between teachers and students, about how this "secret" takes a toll on the families that are involved. It is a novel that has a lot od depth to it and it is very intriguing and definitely a page-turner.
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay Started off with some excitement but it quickly fizzled out. I would have preferred some more action. Decent, easy read though.
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Captured me into it's universe right away and had a hard time putting it down.
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read I liked this book. I was very into it and read it in only a few night, but I was disappointed with the ending. It was a good book, well written, but the real-life human-aspect seemed to be fiction at times. I'll probably read it again, just not soon.
Date published: 2017-07-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Weak and Gimmicky I bought this because I heard Zoe Whittall interviewed on CBC's "The Next Chapter" with Shelagh Rogers. The premise of the novel sounded interesting; a story about a man accused of sexually exploiting children, told mainly in third-person from the point of view of his wife and daughter, and occasionally his son. The Scotiabank Giller Prize Nominee stamp, as well as the "Heather's Pick" seal of approval convinced me to buy the book. I got bored after the first couple of chapters. Some of the basic prose is okay - there are a few really beautiful passages with interesting analogies, and little else - but the action is boring and repetitive; I must have read "made her/his way into ... etc." too many times to count. People constantly pause by windows or while they are making coffee; "Joan paused as she stirred her coffee; it used to be commonplace for her to take a sip and pause to take a moment to fix George's coffee as well, and test it to make sure it was to his liking before presenting it to him. The absence of this ritual unsettled her, so she paused by a window to contemplate it." The author also does not write dialogue well. A lot of it reads like a script from a soap opera. People say each other's names too much when conversing, which is not a very natural thing to do. I am surprised this was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize - possibly because it is gimmicky; it explores rape culture and the whole sensation of she said/he said stories - and I will be even more surprised if it wins.
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page turner Literally could not stop reading! Finished it in two days.
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice! Nice plot and good story-telling.
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loved it thoroughly enjoyed reading this.good plot and great characters
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Would recommend this book to everyone! Did he do it? We don't know!
Date published: 2017-07-07

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE (2016)NATIONAL BESTSELLERSCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE FINALISTNATIONAL POST 99 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARINDIGO BOOK OF THE YEARGLOBE AND MAIL BEST 100 BOOKS OF 2016"Heartbreaking and complex, The Best Kind of People offers no easy answers. This is a masterly exploration of the damage an entire community incurs when the secret at the heart of its most perfect family detonates." - Lynn Coady author of The Antagonist"The Best Kind of People examines the effects of rape culture on an entire community with rare nuance and insight. Every character is fully rounded, flawed, and achingly human. It puts me in mind of a twenty-first-century Ordinary People - which, for the record, is one of my favourite novels." - Kate Harding, author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture - and What We Can Do About It"With incredibly rare nuance, sensitivity, and insight, Zoe Whittall takes us deep into our contemporary conversation around sexual violence and shines a vital spotlight on the individuals and communities that live in its long shadow. Whittall's undisputed talent as a writer shines, as does her understanding into the complexity of our sympathies, our morality, and our humanity. With The Best Kind of People, Whittall has created an urgent and timely document, one that asks us to reflect on how we can best serve survivors of abuse and best support all of those who exist in its aftermath. With incredible empathy, and undeniable skill, this book is sure to spark much needed dialogue, vital debate, and richly deserved acclaim." - Stacey May Fowles, author of Infidelity"Zoe Whittall's novel gets into the hearts and minds of an ordinary family forced to confront the monstrous. There are no heroes and no villains in this world - there are only people grappling with guilt and truth. This novel is a timely discussion of what we owe those who abuse and those who are targeted in our communities. It's a compelling exploration of the ways a crime implicates all of us." - Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman"Whittall places the reader right at the centre of their pain. It's the best depiction of female suffering I've read since Jane Smiley eloquently tackled sexual abuse in A Thousand Acres." - Toronto Star"Nuanced to the end, Whittall's novel achieves something that's rare in real-life cases of sexual violence. She gives a voice to the ones we never hear from: those who are collateral damage." - Chatelaine"Toronto author Zoe Whittall's new novel The Best Kind of People is the best kind of book - it's got a compelling story, characters readers will recognize and come to love, and writing that makes it effortless to turn page after page." - Vancouver Sun"Fast-paced . . . but never melodramatic." - Maclean's"Exquisitely emotional." - Owen Sound Sun Times"An astounding portrait of a character by omission." - National Post"Whittall raises her game dramatically in this Giller-shortlisted novel." - NOW Magazine"A story like this never ends. . . . A humane, clear eyed attempt to explore the ripple effects of sexual crime." - Kirkus ReviewsPRAISE FOR THE MIDDLE GROUND (2010)"Whittall's prose demonstrates vitality and humour as she includes the minutiae of daily life among the bizarre events in Missy's adventure . An entertaining read. Recommended." - CM MagazinePRAISE FOR HOLDING STILL AS LONG AS POSSIBLE (2009):LAMBDA LITERARY AWARDS: TRANSGENDER FICTION WINNERAMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION STONEWALL HONOUR BOOK"With Holding Still, Whittall has established herself as a writer of immense vitality and courage; she stands as the voice of a lost, but thanks to her not forgotten, generation: the boys and girls who will inherit the earth." - National Post"An unforgettable depiction of growing up in the new millennium." - Booklist"In Holding Still for as Long as Possible, the awareness of mortality intersects with the romantic restlessness of youth. It makes for a story whose vital signs are fully present and robust." - Toronto Star"Whittall is a dexterous puppeteer, and the book is unputdownable." - Globe and Mail"Whittall creates distinct characters and voices . . . An enjoyable read that is strong on characters." - Sacramento Book Review"Whittall's writing has a tremendous amount of youthful energy . . . This is a real Toronto story, set against SARS and fears about terrorism." - Quill & Quire"Breathless, jolting, and sputtering with vitality, Holding Still For As Long As Possible explores the inevitable expiry date on lives and relationships, and our white-knuckle struggle to hang on to both." - Canadian LiteraturePRAISE FOR BOTTLE ROCKET HEARTS (2007):A CBC CANADA READS 2011 TOP 10 SELECTIONWINNER OF THE 2008 DAYNE OGILVIE PRIZE"The cockiest, brashest, funniest, toughest, most life-affirming, elegant, scruffy, no-holds-barred writer to emerge from Montreal since Mordecai Richler." - Globe & Mail"Whittall's background as a poet shines in every paragraph. Her poetic voice hits hard and with beauty . Gutsy, gritty, urban, and sleek, Bottle Rocket Hearts is a compelling story told by a writer skilled in her craft. It leaves me wanting more." - Vancouver Sun"Zoe Whittall's debut novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, is an achingly good read, bringing moments of joy to the reader along with heartache and sorrow." - Calgary Herald