The large cast does justice to Shreve’s engrossing novel. For once, the high school students—including Brian Kennedy as Silas, Eve Bianco as Noelle, Joshua Swanson as Rob, and Jill Apple as Sienna—sound genuinely young. Ellen Archer teases out all the meaning and emotion she can from the relatively small part of Anna, Silas’s mother. Robert Petkoff is less persuasive as Mike, the headmaster of the school, Anna’s eventual lover, and a pivotal figure in the dramatic events that unfold at Avery Academy. He sounds dispassionate and factual, but Shreve makes it clear that Mike is egotistical and rash. Photos and credits of all the cast members on the last disk are a welcome bonus as most of the performers deserve attention after their riveting narratives and fine ensemble work. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 11). (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Shreve, author of the 1999 Oprah's Book Club® selection The Pilot's Wife and Resistance, which was adapted into a 2003 movie of the same name, begins her latest novel with a sex scandal at an elite New England boarding school. While a few of the characters are flat, listeners will enjoy the performances of the 14 talented readers, among them Ellen Archer, Kevin T. Collins, and Stephanie Wolfe. A fine example of how audio can transcend print; for public libraries. [Audio clip available through library.booksontape.com; the Little, Brown hc received a starred review, LJ8/08.-Ed.]