Jennifer duBois. Random House, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9586-2
Taking themes that were “loosely inspired by the story of Amanda Knox,” Cartwheel follows American exchange student Lily Hayes, who has been accused of murdering her roommate, Katy Kellers, in Argentina. Like Knox, Lily’s troublesome lack of anguish, as reportedly evidenced by canoodling with her boyfriend the day after the murder, causes an uproar in the media. Like Knox, Lily seems to have been completely normal—so normal, in fact, that her disbelief at her predicament leads to some bad choices. While duBois (A Partial History of Lost Causes) clearly has the authorial chops to illustrate complex characters, Cartwheel remains flat partly because she seems more focused on avoiding right answers or easy sympathy than creating characters who are more than moral specimens. While muddying the waters of right and wrong is almost always a valiant cause in literature, this novel reads more like an intellectual exercise in examining all the different angles rather than an emotional engagement with human beings. Agent: Henry Dunow, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Oct. 1)
Reviewed on: 07/08/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-0-8129-9587-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-5125-7
Paperback - 394 pages - 978-0-8129-8582-5
Compact Disc - 12 pages - 978-0-8041-6485-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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