Written with the riveting storytelling of authors like Emma Donoghue, Adam Johnson, Ann Patchett, and Curtis Sittenfeld, Cartwheel is a suspenseful and haunting novel of an American foreign exchange student arrested for murder, and a father trying to hold his family together.
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.
PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :
Published by: Random House
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Author: Jennifer duBois
Find Author: http://www.jennifer-dubois.com
Also available from Random House Audio
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
Jennifer duBois’s A Partial History of Lost Causes was one of the most acclaimed debuts of recent years. It was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction and the Northern California Book Award for Fiction, and O: The Oprah Magazine chose it as one of the ten best books of the year. DuBois was also named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 authors. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, duBois recently completed a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. Originally from Massachusetts, she now lives in Texas.
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR :
A Bookish Libraria is pleased to be able to host Ms du Bois in this small question and answer guest spot. Thank you for coming on board with us today, Jennifer.
Can't wait to read this new book, Jennifer. And, I think those jobs of yours sound weirdly amazing. You've had some strange contacts in your life! Lots of good fodder for books... I truly believe we're going to be hearing more and more good things about "Cartwheel" in the coming months, as well.
Thanks again for stopping by and chatting with us.
THE BOOKISH DAME REVIEWS :
"Cartwheel" is a book written with razor sharp style. It's spellbinding. While it's a novel loosely based on the Amanda Knox trial, it's more a study of the behind the scenes peoples involved. I can't tell you how absorbing this story is. It left me holding my breath, thinking about how even the smallest words we speak can be twisted and turned to mean something else in the hands of someone who might have another agenda. There is a horror to this that's underlying "Cartwheel."
Jennifer du Bois writes like she's lived inside the minds of her characters. The story spins madly as the truth of what happened to cause a young American girl kill or not kill her room mate is attempted to be uncovered: hashed and rehashed, tossed and turned by all who love and hate and don't even know her. And the simple act of a cartwheel becomes a pivotal point upon which so much importance is held in the balance.
While we get sketches of the Amanda counter part, Lily, in the book, the characters highlighted and who enthralled me were her parents, her sister, and the Argentine Prosecutor. The psychological study of these four people is profound and detailed. I felt I was privy to their deepest thoughts and ironic feelings. Jennifer digs deep in her study of them. This is the most comprehensive picture of a family under crisis, and the primary target of a pre-trial (Lily) that I can ever remember reading real or imagined. It's genius. Lily is a curiosity as well as a victim in the story...a revolving door upon which others pit their own imaginations, discoveries and feelings.
Aside from all this, Ms du Bois is no slouch when it comes to the American language. Get out your dictionaries. I found it one of the few books I've had to! Her use of the vernacular is sparkling and so refreshing in a world of the urbane. Truly, there were some vocabulary words here that kept me on my toes, happily.
This is a book you won't want to wait to read. It's a book to purchase and keep on your shelf to read again. I see some awards in the future...
5 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame