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The Best Kind of People: A Novel Hardcover – September 19, 2017
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“The Best Kind of People gets into the hearts and minds of an ordinary family forced to confront the monstrous. This novel is a timely discussion of what we owe those who abuse and those who are targeted in our communities.”—Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman
“I am obsessed with this book.”—Samantha Irby, author of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life
“In our post–Harvey Weinstein world [this book] feels more timely and urgent than ever. . . . It draws an elegant line between rape culture, patriarchy, and privilege.”—Claire Cameron, The Millions
“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
“Sure to provoke debate and send book discussion groups into overtime.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“A powerful page-turner.”—Cosmopolitan
“A gripping novel, one that shines a light on family dynamics under extreme pressure.”—The Vancouver Sun
“Zoe 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
“This may just be Whittall’s breakout novel, and deservedly so.”—The Winnipeg Review
“Taut, compassionate and clever.”—Toronto Star
About the Author
Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People was a bestseller in Canada. Her debut novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Top 100 Books of the Year and CBC Canada Reads’ Top Ten Essential Novels of the Decade. Her second novel, Holding Still for as Long as Possible, won a Lambda Literary Award and was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. She was awarded the K. M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature in 2016. Her writing has appeared in The Walrus, The Believer, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Fashion, and more. She has also worked as a writer and story editor on television shows such as Degrassi, Schitt’s Creek, and Baroness von Sketch Show. Born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, she has an MFA from the University of Guelph and lives in Toronto.
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How would you react if your loved one was accused of a sex crime? This is an uncomfortable thought that people are realistically having to face with the incredibly important #MeToo movement underway. And it's the main focus of The Best Kind of People.
George's highly competent ER nurse wife, his smart 17-year-old daughter, and his distant adult son are all forced to grapple with the reality that the beloved patriarch of their happy family may not be who they thought he was. It's an uncomfortable read, as you would expect from a book that explores the nuances of this subject matter.
Many people who commit unforgivable crimes aren't sociopathic monsters. They're people with friends and loved ones, they're our neighbors and our acquaintances. And "good" and "bad" are rarely binary terms. It's possible for "nice family men" to do bad things—and it happens all the time. How do we reconcile that, especially if it's someone we know and love...a father or a husband?
This is a gripping read all the way through, populated with well-developed and deeply human characters. I'm drawn to books that make me uncomfortable, and I appreciated this intricate take on how one person's actions can impact everyone around them profoundly and irrevocably.
The Best Kind of People is one those books that you need to put life on hold to finish. I was drawn in from the first page. The book is about rape-culture (a prominent topic today) and the book analyzes it very well from many points of view.
The novel focuses on George Woodbury, a small town wealthy father of two. He has been somewhat of a local hero and is beloved by his students and really by the whole town. George gets charged with sexual misconduct and attempted rape during a school ski trip. This event throws his family and town into chaos.
The Best Kind of People is told from different perspectives - George's 17 year old daughter, his son and his wife. It was crazy to feel their anguish over the charges and coming to terms with the changes they were facing - going to from being loved to hated and being in the spot light of the media.
I recommend this book - especially today. The author really lets you come to your own decisions about how rape-culture works and how our justice system handles these cases. I really liked that she chose to tell the story from the family of the accused. I honestly could not put this book down. My only wish would have been to able to discuss it! If you have a book club - this book would yield a lot of discussion!
Good Luck Zoe Whittall on the Giller's!
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How would you react if someone you loved was accused of sexual misconduct?Read more