Testimony

Version: Unabridged
Author: Anita Shreve
Narrator: Robert Petkoff , Eve Bianco
Genres: Literature
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published In: October 2008
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 8 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape.

A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices--those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal--that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.

Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in TESTIMONY a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellingly explores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.

Reviews (7)

Testimony

Written by sgw on January 16th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Really enjoyed listening to this book, particularly with the excellent renditions by so many readers! As written - with many chapters, each one having a particular character's name and point of view (sometimes in 1st person, sometimes 2d or 3d), this would be possibly be confusing to read in print - but the expressive readings here make it flow very well. Really good story, excellent production.

difficult, but good

Written by Anonymous on September 12th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was a hard book to listen to, and one I found personally very disturbing, but it was well-written and engaging.

Testimony

Written by Anonymous on January 19th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great book!, very real and an eye opener!, I wanted to keep driving just to keep listening to it!

Very compelling

Written by Anonymous from Framingham, MA on July 17th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I frankly find that eight disks is usually too much to listen to..... Over time that encompasses my various treks in the car, it can be frustrating not to be able to look back and check on a name or a fact. But Anita Shreve's Testimony, despite the fact that it features many characters, felt compelling throughout. I cared about the characters, and was drawn into the power of this simple drama. Featuring a cast of different voices, this is one I would recommend fairly highly to other audioreaders.....

Great book

Written by Greg from Sugar Land, TX on January 25th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is a great book. Thought provoking and especially scary to anyone with teenage children.

A tragedy

Written by SR on November 24th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Shreve is a great writer - I've loved every book of hers that I've read - but if I'd known how sad this book was I might not have started it. It's sad from the beginning to the end, and her characters are hard to get out of your mind after you've finished listening. If you're at risk of depression, maybe stay away from this one. If you're feeling emotionally resilient, then go ahead - it's an excellent book.

Wow

Written by Anonymous on October 10th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I'm a fan of Anita Shreve and this book is one her best. It had me from the beginning. I usually listen to my audiobooks while driving but there were times that I had to bring it in because I couldn't wait until the morning drive.

Author Details

Author Details

Shreve, Anita

For many readers, the appeal of Anita Shreve’s novels is their ability to combine all of the escapist elements of a good beach read with the kind of thoughtful complexity not generally associated with romantic fiction. Shreve’s books are loaded with enough adultery, eroticism, and passion to make anyone keep flipping the pages, but the writer whom People magazine once dubbed a “master storyteller” is also concerned with the complexities of her characters’ motivations, relationships, and lives.

Shreve’s novels draw on her diverse experiences as a teacher and journalist: she began writing fiction while teaching high school, and was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1975 for her story, “Past the Island, Drifting.” She then spent several years working as a journalist in Africa, and later returned to the States to raise her children. In the 1980s, she wrote about women’s issues, which resulted in two nonfiction books -- Remaking Motherhood and Women Together, Women Alone -- before breaking into mainstream fiction with Eden Close in 1989.

This interest in women’s lives -- their struggles and success, families and friendships -- informs all of Shreve’s fiction. The combination of her journalist’s eye for detail and her literary ear for the telling turn of phrase mean that Shreve can spin a story that is dense, atmospheric, and believable. Shreve incorporates the pull of the sea -- the inexorable tides, the unpredictable surf -- into her characters’ lives the way Willa Cather worked the beauty and wildness of the Midwestern plains into her fiction. In Fortune’s Rocks and The Weight of Water, the sea becomes a character itself, evocative and ultimately consuming. In Sea Glass, Shreve takes the metaphor as far as she can, where characters are tested again and again, only to emerge stronger by surviving the ravages of life.

A domestic sensualist, Shreve makes use of the emblems of household life to a high degree, letting a home tell its stories just as much as its inhabitants do, and even recycling the same house through different books and periods of time, giving it a sort of palimpsest effect, in which old stories burn through the newer ones, creating a historical montage. "A house with any kind of age will have dozens of stories to tell," she says. "I suppose if a novelist could live long enough, one could base an entire oeuvre on the lives that weave in and out of an antique house."

Shreve’s work is sometimes categorized as “women’s fiction,” because of her focus on women’s sensibilties and plights. But her evocative and precise language and imagery take her beyond category fiction, and moderate the vein of sentimentality which threads through her books. Moreover, her kaleidoscopic view of history, her iron grip on the details and detritus of 19th-century life (which she sometimes intersperses with a 20th-century story), and her uncanny ability to replicate 19th-century dialogue without sounding fusty or fussy, make for novels that that are always absorbing and often riveting. If she has a flaw, it is that her imagery is sometimes too cinematic, but one can hardly fault her for that: after all, the call of Hollywood is surely as strong as the call of the sea for a writer as talented as Shreve.