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Book Review: The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall

"A timely novel about an accusation against a beloved schoolteacher and the repercussions on his loved ones, exploring issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse."

This story, told from the perspectives of the family members of a man accused of sexual abuse of numerous teenage girls, gives a new side of all too familiar story. Unfortunately, this topic is something we have to face every day but this book really dives into what happens to the family structure of those who are left behind in the midst of the accusations and subsequent trial against their father, husband and friend. 

I really got into the family's feelings. I got it. I empathized with all of them, which I feel is sometimes difficult with multiple narrators but the author does a great job writing distinct voices for each: the mother, the daughter and the son of George Woodbury. 

The Woodburys are a well known family in a prominent part of town. George is a well known teacher and a community hero who once saved students from a school shooter. So people are beyond shocked when several girls from the high school accuse him of misconduct during a school sponsored ski trip. 

The struggles that his daughter, wife and son go through during the months leading up to his trial are heart wrenching. Who should they believe? Is George really capable of such crimes? When the seeds of doubt start the creep in, I didn't even know who I should believe either. You can feel the thousands of emotions pretty heavily as they experience the betrayal, shock, misunderstanding and confusion that they all feel. You'll be sad and get mad at the characters as they go up and down in their reactions to what is unraveling around them.

Well written and definitely recommended. 

I received this review from Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.


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