Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois: Read This If

IMG_1119I’m rather behind on writing about what I read, but I really did enjoy this novel, as I suspect I might enjoy most things Jennifer duBois writes. I adored A Partial History of Lost Causes a couple years ago (wait, 3 years? How can it have been that long?) and was disappointed in myself for having missed the release of Cartwheel last year.

Cartwheel is, unabashedly, a fictionalized version of the Amanda Knox story, of which I know very little, and have not felt the need to research for similarities. The novel takes place not in Italy but Argentina, and is told from alternating points of view – Lily’s, her father’s, the prosecutor’s, and the boyfriend Sebastian’s. It’s eloquently and insightfully written, with uncomfortable observations like:

“Nobody is really paying attention to you. Most people don’t really get this. They thinkt hey must count more to other people than other people count to them. They can’t believe the disregard could could truly be mutual. But it’s a useful thing to learn, you know, if you can manage not to feel too sorry about it.”

But you should likely read this novel if:

  • You enjoy language and a clever turn of phrase.
  • You like to savor your stories like a dram of expensive scotch.
  • You wonder how murder cases can go so haywire, with both sides completely sure of opposing truths.
  • You wonder how to find the truth anyway.

Don’t bother with it if:

  • You’re looking for a fast-paced beach read.
  • You hate ambiguity.
  • Legal matters bore you silly.
  • You’d rather not read anything that hits too close to home.