I received an advance reader copy of this upcoming book from Random House through NetGalley. In The Best Kind of People, we follow the wealthy Woodbury family as their seemingly perfect lives come crashing down when George, beloved teacher and family man, is accused of sexual misconduct. This book is less about whether or not George is guilty and more about the effects the accusations have on his family. In The Best Kind of People, Zoe Whittall tackles the contemporary issue of rape culture and offers an engaging character study and a look at how our society views scandals and accusations such as these.
After reading the synopsis of this book, I thought it might be a mystery/ thriller however, after reading it, I would not place it in that genre. Sure, there was mystery but it wasn’t a “whodunnit” and I also would not call it suspenseful, though I did turn the pages pretty quickly. If you’re looking for a thriller or mystery that will keep you going back and forth trying to determine if George Woodbury is innocent or guilty, then this book is not it. This book is more about the characters surrounding the accused and less about the accused himself. It is about the breakdown of life as the Woodburys know it and how they deal with not knowing if their father and husband is innocent or guilty.
This book was very well written. I loved Zoe Whittall’s writing style. Her descriptions were so vivid that I felt as though I were in the scenes with her characters. She does a very good job of showing the conflicting emotions and feelings of each character as well as the very human instincts to protect, to defend, to fight, to flee, to question, and to self-soothe by whatever means necessary, with her focus being on Sadie, George’s teenage daughter.
I did have some hesitations while reading this book, some “Okay, where is she going with this?” moments in which I was hoping that the author was not trying to “pick sides” or make a blanket statement regarding situations and accusations such as these. She wasn’t. I found this book to be well-balanced, giving a glimpse into the minds of those who immediately take sides in sexual misconduct cases.
I found The Best Kind of People to be intriguing, engaging, and timely. I hope others will pick it up and maybe learn to look at one another a little differently, a little more humanely.
The Best Kind of People releases September 19th.
One of my favorite quotes from the book:
“But what if he wasn’t? Or what if he was a bunch of different things, a mix of good and bad? Of course, real people aren’t the way they are in action movies or Disney films. We all have the capacity to behave in moral ways and to make mistakes, right?” – The Best Kind of People
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