Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: Cartwheel

CartwheelCartwheel by Jennifer Dubois

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I definitely went into this book with an expectation of what it would be and was surprised by how different it was from what I expected. There are several characters in the novel (it is told from constantly shifting points of view) and I found all of them interesting. The father of the accused girl was probably my least favorite. I was fascinated by Sebastien, the neighbor/boyfriend. Besides the story of Lily, an American student studying in Argentina and accused of the brutal murder of her roommate, the story of Sebastien's life, the marriage of the prosecutor, and the relationship between Lily's parents are also integrated into the novel. Well written, full of intriguing questions, and with a mystery that kept me turning pages. 

One of the ideas Dubois brings up in the book is about how your life story looks depending on the medium being used to tell it.
"He began to imagine what his whole life might look like as told through security camera videotape ... All of these images existed somewhere out in the universe, Sebastien now realized, adn they would show a version of his biography if somebody ever decided to collect and arrange them. And Sebastien saw how convincing the security tape telling of his life would be--to the average viewer, or even to him--no matter how many other true things were missing." p.281

I thought this idea of security tapes as biography was really intriguing. 


  1. Sounds like an interesting story with an intriguing way of telling it.

    Joy's Book Blog

  2. I expected to like this book more than I did, in the end. I want to try the author's first book, which I have a copy of. I think I get what the author was trying to do with Cartwheel (showing the story from the outside from different angles to see how plausible each version of the story is and how unknowable the truth can be) but since we also as readers were privy to some of the characters' thoughts, I thought there was too much withheld for me to feel really connected to the characters.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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