I've now read 50 books so far since the beginning of 2016. I do a lot of reading as I really don't watch television. Once in awhile I will watch a Netflix movie as we have the instant streaming via our computer system. But books....I have always been a reader as has my husband, and thankfully, both of my daughters. I guess we are a bunch of bookworms! But seriously...it's a great hobby and it helps to keep the aging mind healthy.
This book caught my eye because of two things: set in Boston (Harvard for the most part) and the art work on the cover was intriguing. And yes...there really is a Bradstreet Gate at Harvard. It was constructed in the late 1990's and is their newest gate.
Georgia Calvin ( a beautiful, blond, charming girl), Charlie (a social climber trying to forget his roots), and Alice (an aspiring writer and somewhat jealous of Georgia) all meet at Harvard while students there. Just before their graduation in 1997, a classmate is murdered! Julie Patel was known to all of them...a bright Indian girl who stood up for social causes and was very out-spoken in one of their classes with Professor Rufus Storrow. (Yes, his last name had me immediately thinking of Storrow Drive along the Charles River and next to Boston University).
Storrow is accused of the crime, but never arrested. His guilt...or innocence...remains a mystery and forces the three friends to delve into looking at their tangled relationships with one another. They have a bond...and that bond is the secrets that they've kept from one another. Charlie has always loved Georgia. Alice has always been envious of Georgia. And Georgia has had a secret affair with Storrow!! This ends abruptly on the night that Julie's body is found.
The next 10 years finds the friends in different directions, trying to grapple with each other and with what happened on campus that late May evening.
Will the truth ever be exposed??
Oh my. This book did draw me in because the character development has so many layers and is just excellently executed.
BUT...this is murder mystery and the author barely touches on it! and the ending?? It made me say...."WHAT??" Oh BLEH!" It's an ending that isn't really an ending. Of course I have my ideas...which is maybe the author's intent. But to just end. It just...ends. Abruptly. This IS the author's debut novel so....we will give her some slack. But the ending was highly disappointing.
The overall themes of social classes, envy, betrayals and promises, and the bonds of friendship are all deeply explored and well done.
I loved the depiction of Harvard life and the mental illness of Alice. I don't want to go into too much about Alice as I don't want to spoil it for you. But it made her character very real. I found my self not liking her yet feeling sorry for her. She needed some good counseling!
I found my self getting irritated with the characters though after a time.....I mean, someone needed to discuss Storrow with either the campus police or at the very least, the dean. I was wishing that Georgia would go to someone in authority about her relationship with Storrow. But of couse, with the way she was brought up...this was a classic example of looking for a father figure so she could keep capturing the bond she and her own father had created over the years. The author took a different approach though, and this kept the book elusive and intriguing.
I didn't hate this book but I didn't love it either. It IS a good read and an easy one and the fact of the character development really is what makes this book, in my opinion.
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this an 8.