Review: The Best Kind of People






Synopsis

Shortlisted for the Giller Prize • A local schoolteacher is arrested for a heinous crime, leaving his family to wrestle with the possibility of his guilt in this exquisite novel about loyalty, truth, and happiness.

The Woodburys cherish life in the affluent, bucolic suburb of Avalon Hills, Connecticut. George is a beloved science teacher at the local prep school, a hero who once thwarted a gunman, and his wife, Joan, is a hardworking ER nurse. They have brought up their children in this thriving town of wooded yards and sprawling lakes.

Then one night a police car pulls up to the Woodbury home and George is charged with sexual misconduct—with students from his daughter’s school. As he sits in prison awaiting trial and claiming innocence—is it possible?—Joan vaults between denial and rage as friends and neighbors turn cold. Their daughter, seventeen-year-old Sadie, is a popular high school senior who becomes a social outcast—and finds refuge in an unexpected place. Her brother, Andrew, a lawyer in New York, returns home to support the family, only to confront unhappy memories from his past. A writer tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist group attempts to recruit Sadie for their cause.

Provocative and unforgettable, The Best Kind of People reveals the cracks along the seams of even the most perfect lives and the unraveling of an American family.
Praise from Canada for The Best Kind of People.

“[Zoe] Whittall’s intuitive understanding of human nature makes The Best Kind of People a gripping novel, one that shines a light on family dynamics under extreme pressure.”—The Vancouver Sun

“Whittall’s undisputed talent as a writer shines, as does her understanding into the complexity of our sympathies, our morality, and our humanity. 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

“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.”—Kate Harding, author of Asking for It

“This may just be Whittall’s breakout novel, and deservedly so.”—The Winnipeg Review

“Taut, compassionate and clever.”—Toronto Star



Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall is a stunning piece of fiction. It had the same intensity as the To Kill a Mockingbird and as The Crucible. All three novels were based on false accusations that built up into a nightmare. Destroying many lives. While it wasn’t as bad as The Crucible it certainly held the same kind of trouble. 

Watching how a man went from town hero to a victim of lies. Lies that were set up by young girls. Their lies brought a once closely held family to the ruins. A father sent off to jail, a wife feeling wary about her husband, and a daughter trying to deal with the torments at school. Zoe Whittall shows us, readers, that even the best kind of people can fall victim to cruelty and lies. George Woodbury a fellow teacher, husband, and father is wrongly accused of raping innocent girls. Yet these girls were far from innocent…they were the tormentors. Bullying, drugs, coming out, and marriage are just some of the strong themes present inside this captivating novel. It all felt so real. The pressure built to a point that I felt like all were drowning along with the victim. The whole Woodbury family were victims to slander. Sad, heartbreaking, and believable. This is a must read for all. I recommend this page-turning tale to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Girl Called Princess Charlotte

 

Synopsis:

A Priceless Treasure with a Mysterious Past… Boston attorney Theodore Murphy, Teddy to his friends, has been handed a seemingly straightforward case: to recover a valuable painting by Franz Winterhalter, Young Girl Called Princess Charlotte, which was stolen by the Nazis from Jewish art dealer Dr. Markus Steiner. When the charitable organization founded in his will by Steiner learns that Anna Vogler has put the painting up for auction they demand its return. But Teddy Murphy finds that Vogler’s attorneys aren’t prepared to give up without a fight…and as the widow of a World War II veteran, she makes a sympathetic witness.

Teddy learns that she has no proof of purchase, her husband sent the painting home from Europe near the end of the war, and a mystery surrounds where and how he got it. Armed with this information and Markus Steiner’s diary, Teddy sets out to prove that the Steiner Foundation should rightfully own the painting. Joined by his girlfriend Judith Frazer, Teddy learns about Markus from the trenches of World War I to his daring escape from Nazi Germany, as together they watch a remarkable life story unfold in the pages of Markus’ diary, while they pursue every available avenue, to find out the truth about the painting.

This vivid, beautifully researched historical thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat, while introducing you to the suffering of World War I soldiers, the shocking nightlife of Berlin, the intrigues of the international art world, the horror of the rising Third Reich…and the compassionate dedication of those who still work to bring justice to the Jews of Europe.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Girl Called Princess Charlotte is a must read for all. Especially for fans of the movie, Woman in Gold. This historical fiction takes readers back to World War II and leads them on a journey for the truth. Art, history, and intrigue will sweep readers off their feet and back in time.

The Girl Called Princess Charlotte by Gerard Shirar is spectacular. The characters leave readers on edge as the court process begins…readers hold their breath hoping for a good outcome. Similarities from this to the Woman in Gold movie is fascinating. A Jewish painting with a long line of history is now worth millions. World War II in Germany was a terrifying endless moment in history that those in the present day will never forget. Nazi take what once belonged to the Jewish people of Germany. They had their rights stripped, their possessions taken, and countless thousands were killed. Families were torn, fear in every direction…any kind of resistance lured not only the Jewish owner but the owner’s family to death. The Girl Called Princess Charlotte by Gerard Shirar is a startling truth that should be uncovered and read by all. Gerard Shirar’s writing is well-developed and awe-inspiring. It shows readers that even after so much time has gone by that justice can prevail. Overall, I highly recommend this historical novel to readers worldwide.

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