Before Testimony, the only other Anita Shreve novel I had read was The Pilot’s Wife, which I liked, but didn’t really love. Testimony, on the other hand, left me feeling disgusted with it’s tale of sexual misadventure at a New England boarding school, the tragic events that set the story in motion and the fallout for all those involved.
The narrative begins with Mike Bordwin, Headmaster of Avery Academy, who has received a videotape which shows three male students and a 14-year-old Freshman girl, involved in graphic sex in an Avery dorm room. The unfolding events are told through myriad narrators, each of whom offer their remembrances of and involvement in the scandal, which eventually leads to suspensions, arrests, firings, divorces, and death, within the school itself and in the surrounding community.
I should probably offer a *Trigger Warning* at this point because I feel the need to discuss some of the awkward contrivances Shreve places in the story, all of which made me cringe inwardly as she attempted to make readers feel sorry for the “boys” involved and to place all the blame on the jezebel.