Kimberly McCreight has written a poignant story centering on the worst fear of every parent of an adolescent - teenage suicide.
Her much acclaimed novel, "Reconstructing Amelia," (HarperCollins/382 pages) is a warning on the consequences of bullying in this age of the "unsocial" media.
Kate Baron is a Wall Street lawyer and single mother of Amelia. One fateful afternoon, she receives word from the private academy, Grace Hall, that her intellectually gifted daughter has been suspended for plagiarism.
When Kate arrives at the school, she is surprised to find that emergency personnel and the police are present. But the greatest shock is yet to come, when is she told that her daughter jumped from the roof of the school in an apparent suicide.
From the pit of despair, Kate receives an anonymous text message telling her that her daughter did not jump. What ensues is a heart-wrenching story of a grieving mother trying to unravel the turbulent last days of her daughter.
McCreight's book is worth reading, nonetheless, because it is a powerful presentation of the dangers of family secrets. Kate Baron finally uncovers Amelia's traumatic last days, the young girl's disastrous encounter with first love, false friends and a cruel clique of classmates revealed through a search of her laptop and phone messages which demonstrates the perils of the "unsocial" media which became the conduit of relentless vicious gossip and bullying.
The tragic death of Amelia Baron will strike a chord with countless parents who try to shelter their children from the harsh realities of adolescence.