November 03, 2008 12:00 PM

by Anita Shreve

REVIEWED BY JOANNA POWELL

NOVEL

A posh New England prep school is rocked by scandal when a lewd sex tape surfaces on YouTube. Caught on video are three basketball stars cavorting with a seductive 14-year-old girl who will later accuse them of rape. The fallout is seismic, spreading shame and blame all the way to the headmaster’s office. Shreve (The Pilot’s Wife) seamlessly weaves the “testimony” of some 20 characters affected by the event, unveiling layers of secrets. Most compelling is Silas, a promising local farm boy on scholarship, whose future is gutted by his involvement in the debacle. Contrasting the sweetness of young love with the primal recklessness of lust, Shreve paints a chilling portrait of how bad decisions in brief moments can ruin lives.

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