Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel

Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel

by Kimberly McCreight


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In Reconstructing Amelia, the stunning debut novel from Kimberly McCreight, Kate's in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—now. But Kate’s stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it’s already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.

An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least that’s the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one she forces herself to believe. Until she gets an anonymous text: She didn’t jump.

Reconstructing Amelia is about secret first loves, old friendships, and an all-girls club steeped in tradition. But, most of all, it’s the story of how far a mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldn’t save.

Fans of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl will find Reconstructing Amelia just as gripping and surprising.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062225443
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/03/2013
Series: P.S.
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 52,540
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: HL710L (what's this?)

About the Author

Kimberly McCreight is the author of the New York Times bestseller Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Alex Awards, and the USA Today bestseller Where They Found Her. She attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. Visit her online at

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Reconstructing Amelia 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 259 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely a MUST to read! Leaves you on the edge of your seat and keeps you hooked all the way through. An ending you never saw coming and so many twists & turns. Outstanding!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every now and then you read a book that surprises you for just how unique it is. A story that sets itself apart from any other. This book was that for me. Some reviewers were disappointed with the end. I wasn't. I honestly don't think the end matters. This book is about relationships, about lost opportunities and forgiveness. It is about finding out who we are by learning about who the people we loved really were and still finding a way to live with our mistakes and the 'what if's'. A fantastic story, terrific writing, and a book and characters that keep you thinking. You cannot ask for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing was absolutely horrid. I couldn't stomach the way the writer was trying SO HARD to sound like she knows how teens/young adults talk -- she missed the mark by A LOT. This is the last sentence I read and gave up (this is supposed to be a 24 year old IT guy who works at one of the top law firms in New York…but is also a stoner...): "...Because you don't want to like [sic] get into the deets of your kid's Facebook page. I mean, I'm twenty-four, and I'm a pretty scrubbed-up guy and whatevs, but my 'rents would stroke out if they saw my whole page. You've gotta filter it for ma and pa. I mean, who wants to see their kid doing body shots, like, ever?" There are grammatical and spelling errors riddled throughout the book, which drove me bananas. Sentence structure was that of somebody who has never written before. The plot could have been interesting, but the writing was just too much to get past. Also, this is definitely not a book that should be marketed towards adults. Her "trying-to-be-hip-and-with-it" lingo will turn off the younger crowd as well...Definitely not recommended.
MAP1 More than 1 year ago
An extraordinary book. A compelling mixture of very fast-paced action interwoven with a subtle exposition of the key relationship in the story: the one between the mothera and her daughter. Many twists and turns in the plot, this story just gripped my attention from the very beginning. A must-read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reconstructing Amelia is a story of Kate, a successful lawyer and single mom, and her teenage daughter Amelia who is smart, creative and athletic. The two have a close relationship despite Kate’s profession and long hours. Then, Kate receives a call from Amelia’s school saying that Amelia has been suspended for cheating. When Kate arrives, she learns that Amelia has jumped from the roof of the school in an apparent suicide. But one day, Kate receives a text that says that Amelia didn’t jump. Kate then sets out to reconstruct her daughter’s life and find out the truth which plunges the reader into the world of teenagers – social media, friendships and bullying. She uncovers a side of her daughter that she didn’t know. She begins to question how much she really knew her daughter, what she could have done to prevent this, and why Amelia didn’t come talk to her.  I was drawn into the novel from the beginning and couldn't put it down. The book alternates between Kate's perspective and Amelia's and also uses a number of narrative devices such a blog posts, Facebook updates, tweets and emails to tell the story which I found gave the story more texture by reflecting how we communicate and find out information today. The story is heartbreaking and it addresses many important topics such as bullying, sexuality, role of technology and social media in teen culture. Ultimately, it's about the complex relationship between children and parents and how much we truly know about our children. This is an incredible debut novel for Kimberley McCreight. 
fireflymom More than 1 year ago
As far as mysteries go, this one had me flipping through trying to figure out the ending.  That was good, and it IS a good book.  However, it had been compared to Gone Girl and it is not. that. good.  Enjoyable read though, and I liked reading it through the Mother's perspective as well as the daughters.  I would recommend it, but I  wouldn't say it was comparable to Gone Girl (If you haven't read that, you should!).  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book, based on the overview, but unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. The book went at a good, fast pace but then the ending was so predictable, that I was completely left saying "Is that all there is"? Overall the book was fair.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall this was an enjoyable read that kept me turning the pages. The story does not seem to be realistic about how a police investigation would be handled and the author seems to want to hit every "hot topic". The characters are intriguing.
Perdita9 More than 1 year ago
Color me unimpressed. The setup for this book was great--overachieving, fifteen year old, straight A student, Amelia, commits suicide after being accused of plagerism. It's up to high-powered attorney and mom, Kate, to sort through text messages and emails to figure out what happened. The pacing is very good, making the book a page turner, but there are problems. Kate and Amelia don't come across as real people. In addition, Kate isn't particularly likable. She got pregnant in law school and elected to become a single mom despite her plans to pursue an intense legal career which left her little time for Amelia. Also, she never told Amelia who her father is, in fact, she's not even sure. By the end of the book I was rolling my eyes, thinking I'd stumbled into a Lifetime movie with endless plot twists in a game of "Who's Your Daddy?" Amelia's classmates are such over the top bullies they should be working as comic book villains. For a while I even suspected one of them, Dylan--Amelia's lover, as being a robot. Her behavior was THAT inexplicable. Not recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS MAY CONTAIN A SPOILER...I read a review that compared this to "Gone Girl"....but if you're expecting that kind of blow-you-away twist ending, you'll be disappointed. Great writing, round characters, but I was disappointed by the resolution, and I felt like too many red herrings were put out there to mislead readers. Totally engrossed while I was reading, but when I reached the end I was let down.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
Ok. So I really liked this book - well, everything except for the main character, Kate. Kate is a high powered litigation attorney fully enmeshed in BigLaw. She's also a single mother raising a teenage daughter. Her daughter, Amelia, goes to an exclusive private school in Brooklyn - because Manhattan is too staid and it's hipper to got to a rich school in Brooklyn. One day, Amelia is found dead - jumped off the roof - presumably a suicide. Kate then has to reconstruct Amelia's life and come to terms with how little she knew of her daughter. Kate is self aware enough to know that she hasn't always been there for Amelia - in fact, she's rarely there for Amelia. She works long hours and leaves Amelia to eat alone most days of the week. But Kate kids herself into thinking that it's quality of time and not quantity of time that matters. That despite the fact she's rarely with Amelia, they're best friends and that Amelia tells her everything. Reconstructing Amelia's death highlights to Kate how wrong she was. And that she knew very little of Amelia at all. But what remains strong is her belief that she knew her daughter enough to know it wasn't suicide and fights to know the truth.  Overall, the book was well written and the characters nicely flushed out. There were too many red herrings at times, but it was, in general, a really good and exciting read. 
MMsMom More than 1 year ago
This book was an interesting read, although somewhat heartbreaking to think about if you have a teen daughter. The book captures your attention right from the beginning and you can't help but to continue reading to find out what will be happening next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know where to start... this book grabbed my attention and held it all of the way through. It's one of those great finds that make you read for hours to figure out everything and then when you finish you wish there was even more because you don't want to leave the characters behind. People in high school and older ( I'm 26) will be able to enjoy this book. I hope this author continues writing on this level. You will not regret picking this up.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Won't be the only book by Kimberly that I read, just remembered as the first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book very much. It had a great storyline and wasn't predictable as most books are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an amazing story. Stick with it through the first few chapters. It's well worth it with an ending that I never expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The headline says it all!
LisaDunckley More than 1 year ago
Suspenseful and readable, but sort of lightweight, and I thought the ending was a bit of a letdown. The book starts with Kate getting a call from her daughter Amelia's fancy and expensive private school, telling her that Amelia has been suspended. But when Kate arrives, she's told that Amelia has killed herself. The story alternates between the aftermath, and the events leading up to Amelia's death. Kate receives a text stating that Amelia did NOT jump from the school's roof—and begins to investigate what happened to find out the truth. While I love books that have a story within a story, I found this book to be a little confusing when it switched back and forth between past and present. The book was engaging and easy to read, but the characters weren't really developed and most weren't really very likeable. While I read it straight through and it was hard to put down, I felt that the ending wasn't fulfilling (it made sense and everything, there was just a little bit of “Oh...that's it?” feeling.) An easy and quick read, will appeal to fans of suspense novels, just not super deep
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
Fantastic Brooklyn, New York Kate Baron is a litigation lawyer and a harried single mother. She is shocked when her daughter’s private school calls to tell her that her high-achieving, intelligent fifteen-year-old daughter, Amelia was caught cheating. Kate is blindsided when she arrives at Grace Hall by even more devastating news: Amelia is dead. She jumped from the school roof, despondent. At least that is what the police and Grace Hall tells Kate. Kate believes it too until she gets an anonymous text that Amelia didn’t jump. Kate is going to find out the truth – no matter where it leads her. Kate reconstructs the pieces of her daughter’s life by shifting through Amelia’s text messages, e-mails and Facebook posts. She also finds the people that where in her daughter’s life. She is determined to discover why Amelia was on Grace Hall’s roof that day and just how she did die. This is a story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats as they try to figure just what is going on in the book. The suspense keeps building until the very end when the truth finally comes out as to just what happened to Amelia. As each clue is revealed it leads to more questions that the reader gets answered at the very end and it doesn’t disappoint in the least. This is a very hard book to put down as the reader will want to know just what happened that lead up to Amelia’s death. With all the twists and turns the story takes it will keep the reader guessing as they try to figure what happened when.
HHMarie2015 More than 1 year ago
I picked this up on a whim, having never heard of this author before and I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't notice many grammatical or spelling errors while reading, which, if they were there, really speaks to how captivating the story was. It was an ending that came out of nowhere and was the last possible thing you'd expect. I love alternating perspectives and time frames, but often times they can be very tricky to follow. I thought that the author made the story very easy to follow, but did not drop hints about the anticipated answer to the question that drove the novel the entire time -- who did it?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ariesgrl More than 1 year ago
Kate Baron is a single mother and a successful, busy lawyer. Her work day is interrupted when she receives a call from her daughter’s school, stating that good girl, Amelia was in trouble. By the time she arrives to the school, Amelia is dead and Kate is left wondering what could have triggered these events. As the school brushes everything to the side, Kate digs through the intimate details of her daughter’s life, determined to find out the truth. Did Amelia really commit suicide or was she brutally murdered? Kimberly McCreight’s debut novel is told through alternating points-of-view, text messages and social media updates. This unique set-up takes readers on a wild ride through Amelia’s life at a private school. The page turning suspense will leave readers breathless as they race towards the truth. Due to the extreme number of curse words, this is recommended for mature audiences. Reading groups will appreciate the ultimate dilemma, of how far one mother will go to find out the reason behind her daughter’s death. Notes: This review was written for My Sister's Books. This review was originally posted on the Ariesgrl Book Reviews website.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Writing is not so good.