Kerry Hammond reports back today from the most recent meeting of the Denver-based Crime & Beyond Book Club.
Crime & Beyond met recently to discuss Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight. The book was about the death of a young girl at a private school in Brooklyn, NY. Amelia falls/jumps from the top of one of the school buildings in the beginning of the book, as her Mom makes her way to the school to pick her up. Racked with guilt, and after receiving a text that Amelia did not jump (something the whole school took for granted), the Mom starts to try and piece together Amelia’s life to see what happened to her daughter. In alternating chapters we hear about what is going in at the school through Amelia’s eyes, specifically her entry into a clickish club called the Magpies. Similar to a sorority in college, the Maggies put the new recruits through a hazing process. The joining of the club, Amelia falling in love with Dillon (one of the Maggies), and feeling she’s betrayed her best friend by not telling her anything about her initiation, all lead to the ultimate incident on the rooftop that ends Amelia’s life.
Most of the parents felt that the book was spot on. The things that were going on with the kids was very true to the current trend (unfortunately). Those of us without kids do NOT envy the parents and what they have to deal with. Bullying when most of us were young was an in person affair, whereas these days it’s a very anonymous cyber experience. Which makes it that much more painful, as it is broadcast to the whole student body, rather than just the kids who were present for an incident and happened to see it. It also breeds a new kind of bully, the kind that doesn’t have enough guts to do it in person, but an anonymous post or text is right up their alley. I think it appeals to the bullying coward in our modern, electronic age.
Next month we will discuss Kill Fee by Owen Laukkanen. This book is the third in a series that contains investigators Stevens and Windermere. This is a new author for us, and we’re excited to give the author a try.