I was sorely disappointed by this one. I went in expecting something reminiscent of a Jodi Picoult book, however, it was far from hitting that mark. I heard great things about this book, and I knew that it was written by a Canadian author, but all of the hopes I had built up around this one came crashing down as I got further and further into this boring mess. Funnily enough, this book was hovering around a 2 teacup rating, but within the last few pages, it simply burned. Long story short, I wouldn’t recommend this one and I don’t really have a lot to say about it. I will, however, go into a few reasons why The Best Kind of People will probably end up being one of my least favourite reads of the year.
First off, the beginning was really promising, but it became clear pretty quickly that this was going to be a character analysis that aimed to delve into how each family member was going to deal with their husband and father’s sexual assault accusation. Normally, I would have loved this sort of thing because I love character driven stories, however, each family member was godawfully boring and I found it difficult to empathise with them, even if you could somewhat understand where they were coming from. One of the biggest problems I had with this book was the utter lack of exploration into George’s character (the man we are accusing of sexual assault.) I would have really appreciated a perspective from him and the chance to take a look into his mind and history. I hated how he was one dimensional in both the saintly town hero trope and the evil, two-faced sexual offender.
Furthermore, this novel claims to be about a sexual assault case, but there is little to no exploration of the crime, case, or legal system. Although unrelated to this book, the author Jodi Picoult (who I love) writes criminal cases and character explorations flawlessly, and oftentimes her books take place inside the courtroom. This case was literally crammed into the last few pages, and don’t get me started on that final verdict. I felt that the ending completely undermined the whole of the book.
All in all, a huge miss for me. The whole book followed the wife and children, who dealt with their problems in annoying and boring ways. I would have loved to see more characterization in our “criminal,” more flashbacks into the past, and more details about the crime and case. This was a complete yawn-fest for me and I definitely wouldn’t recommend.
To learn more about Zoe Whittall and her work, you can visit her website here –> http://zoewhittall.com/
Want a better Canadian read? Hopefully you can find one in this list! –> http://www.cbc.ca/books/books100.html