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By Anita Shreve
A Multi-Cast Production

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By Anita Shreve
A Multi-Cast Production
Hachette Audio, (2008)
An Unabridged Recording on 8 CDs
ISBN 10: 1-60024-404-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-60024-404-9
Genre: Fiction

This audiobook is also available in an abridged edition on 4 Cds ISBN: 978-1-60024-402-5.

Reviewed by Angela Evans - November 3, 2008

Testimony is a haunting tale by Anita Shreve about a unthinkable sex scandal at Avery Academy, a New England boarding school. Uniquely, this audio book is performed by a cast of actors, rather than just by one or two readers. Making this a multi-cast production, really brings this complex story to life and makes you almost feel as if you are listening to a stage play.

The story starts out when the Headmaster of Avery Academy receives a mysterious package. Inside is a videotape, and recorded on it are several Avery students, one of them a girl of only fourteen, performing various sexual acts. The repercussions that evolve out of this tape, and its coming to light, affect not only the students involved, but their parents, the school as a whole, and the local community. How could such a thing happen? Whose fault was it? What is to be done now? Questions and recriminations swirl around like so many dried leaves, and all it will take is one small match to destroy everything.

Avery Academy is a very prestigious institution, where only the best of the best, or at least the richest, get to attend. One would think that the boarding school would be the epitome of decorum and good breeding. However, even within its hollowed halls, the kids imbibe in drugs, alcohol, and sex. Testimony is told from a variety of view points, allowing you to see how the students, parents, and citizens of the town of Avery are each collectively and individually affected by the burgeoning sex scandal.

Testimony is an emotional story with a very complex plot and a whole lot of characters. Having the story performed by such as varied cast will help you to keep the story and the characters straight! For those interested, included on one of the CDs in the box, is a complete list of the cast and their roles. This is an all star cast and it includes: Robert Petkoff, Ellen Archer, Kevin T. Collins, Henry Leyva, Stephanie Wolfe, Jill Apple, Nick Sullivan, Cassandra Morris, and many more.

This story definitely contains adult content, and it was a bit graphic for my taste in some places (at least the unabridged version was). So, be forewarned that this book is not for everyone and definitely not for children. Despite this warning, it is an excellent story and a must for all of Shreve's fans.

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