Reconstructing Amelia

Reconstructing Amelia

3.82 (100,554 ratings by Goodreads)
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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 574 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 35.56mm | 544.31g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type / large print edition
  • 0062231391
  • 9780062231390
  • 518,539

Back cover copy

When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets a phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter.

Kate rushes to Grace Hall to pick up Amelia, but what she finds when she arrives is beyond comprehension. Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of impulsive suicide. At least that's the story Kate believes until she gets an anonymous text:

Amelia didn't jump.

Determined to learn the truth about what really happened on that roof, Kate searches through Amelia's e-mails, texts, and Facebook updates, piecing together the last troubled days of her daughter's life.

Reconstructing Amelia is a stunning debut page-turner that brilliantly explores the secret world of teenagers, their clandestine first loves, hidden friendships, and the dangerous cruelty that can spill over into acts of terrible betrayal.
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Review quote

-Just finished a fantastic novel-Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. So. Well. Done. If you liked Gone Girl, you'll love this too.---Jodi Picoult
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Rating details

100,554 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 24% (24,310)
4 43% (43,099)
3 26% (25,688)
2 6% (5,820)
1 2% (1,637)

Our customer reviews

I will just get to it, Reconstructing Amelia was a completely gripping, emotional, and intricate story. From the moment I first learned of this book, I wanted to read it. When I learned that it had been optioned for film, I was even more excited. I will also say that the subject scared me, too. I am convinced that nothing in life is as frightening as being a parent. Zombies, aliens, serial killers...they're all terrifying, sure. When you have a child, a lot of us spend our time marveling at the miracles, time just trying to make it through the day without screwing up too badly, and the rest of the time convinced we will fail our children. It's scary business. But as a parent, nothing is as terrifying as the thought of losing your child. Reconstructing Amelia is a mother's search for the truth of her daughter's death, while discovering the hidden truths of her daughter's life. I honestly anticipated Reconstructing Amelia to be a much tougher read than it was. Yes, it was heartbreaking to read Kate learning her daughter had died, even more so with the death being ruled a suicide, and Kate having no clue as to why her daughter would take her own life. It was difficult to see Kate struggling to hold herself together in the aftermath, to simply keep moving and breathing. It was so sad as we (Kate and the reader) start uncovering what Amelia had been struggling with in the days before her death. But with the story's focus being largely on the mystery of Amelia's life in the month or so before her death, and Kate's determination to force the truth out of hiding, this kept the overwhelming sadness of the story back a bit. The mystery of Amelia's life and death was simply fascinating. I loved the way Reconstructing Amelia unfolded, and found it to be very well done. The story alternated between the present: told through Kate's point-of-view, the past: Amelia's point-of-view of the months leading to her death, and Kate's point-of-view of the past, in the time of her pregnancy with Amelia. The alternating points-of-view helped shed light on Kate and Amelia's lives so beautifully. And it might seem strange for the girl who'd died to have a point-of-view, but I found that it made Amelia's story so much stronger, and helped her not be impetus to a story, but a full part of it. Amelia's story brings up relevant and frightening topics such as bullying, the negative impacts of social media on teens, and secret groups at schools. Reconstructing Amelia was a story that I could not bear to put down. I wanted justice and truth for Amelia and Kate. I wanted Kate to know that she was a good mother who did her best, despite not having full awareness of her daughter's life. I wanted those who'd hurt Amelia to be found out. I was surprised, really, by the ending and the truth about Amelia's death. It was not what I expected, but truly stunning and sad. Reconstructing Amelia is a story that I will be recommending to many readers, and it is one that I will not forget. I hope the film adaptation does justice to such a remarkable more
by Andrea Thompson
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