Book of the Week for October 6-October 12
Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois
Why it’s interesting:
This week’s book is Cartwheel by Jennifer duBuois. My current Outline in Progress (not to be confused with Novel in Progress, Story in Progress, or Novel in Editing, all of which I also have) is a mystery unfolding on the set of a reality show, so I’ve been doing a lot of research on actual reality shows—crimes committed and tragedies endured by cast members, legal problems the shows have had, what cast contracts are like, and, of course, other novels that have been-there-done-that. Luckily, so far, none have had anything close to my premise.
During all of this research, I came across Cartwheel. It’s “inspired by” the Amanda Knox story, which I know very little about, but is intriguing in and of itself. But it was especially interesting to me because I, too, take real life situations and fictionalize them. I enjoy seeing how other authors do it.
I’m about half way through and so far am completely addicted. Life forces are keeping me from reading, but I kid you not when I say I really struggled with whether to write this blog post or sit here and read for the last ten minutes. You’re lucky. I chose you. 🙂
When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn’t come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans.
Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who’s asking. As the case takes shape—revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA—Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her: the media, her family, the man who loves her and the man who seeks her conviction. With mordant wit and keen emotional insight, Cartwheel offers a prismatic investigation of the ways we decide what to see—and to believe—in one another and ourselves.
In Cartwheel, duBois delivers a novel of propulsive psychological suspense and rare moral nuance. No two readers will agree who Lily is and what happened to her roommate. Cartwheel will keep you guessing until the final page, and its questions about how well we really know ourselves will linger well beyond.
If you like this, you might also like:
A fictionalized version of the real-life theft of masterpieces from a museum in Boston. (Yes, very similar to Stealing the Ruby Slippers, except it’s not told by the villain.) I loved this book because of the discussion of the actual art and the process that goes into making it.