A Novel

Book - 2013
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"Slate - ""Cosmopolitan - ""Salon - BuzzFeed - BookPage"
Written with the riveting storytelling of authors like Emma Donoghue, Adam Johnson, Ann Patchett, and Curtis Sittenfeld, "Cartwheel "is a suspenseful and haunting novel of an American foreign exchange student arrested for murder, and a father trying to hold his family together.
When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn't come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans.
Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who's asking. As the case takes shape--revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA--Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her: the media, her family, the man who loves her and the man who seeks her conviction. With mordant wit and keen emotional insight, "Cartwheel" offers a prismatic investigation of the ways we decide what to see--and to believe--in one another and ourselves.
In "Cartwheel, " duBois delivers a novel of propulsive psychological suspense and rare moral nuance. No two readers will agree who Lily is and what happened to her roommate. "Cartwheel" will keep you guessing until the final page, and its questions about how well we really know ourselves will linger well beyond.
"A smart, literary thriller for] fans of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl.""--"The Huffington Post"
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"Psychologically astute . . . DuBois hits the] larger sadness just right and dispenses with all the salacious details you can readily find elsewhere. . . . The writing in "Cartwheel" is a pleasure--electric, fine-tuned, intelligent, conflicted. The novel is engrossing, and its portraiture hits delightfully and necessarily close to home."--"The New York Times Book Review" (Editor's Choice)
"Marvelous . . . a gripping tale . . . Every sentence crackles with wit and vision. Every page casts a spell."--Maggie Shipstead, author of "Seating Arrangements"
" You'll] break your own record of pages read per minute as you tear through this book."--"Marie Claire"
"Jennifer duBois is destined for great things."--"Cosmopolitan"
"A convincing, compelling tale . . . The story plays out in all its well-told complexity."--New York "Daily News"
" A] gripping, gorgeously written novel . . . The emotional intelligence in "Cartwheel "is so sharp it's almost ruthless--a tabloid tragedy elevated to high art. Grade: ] A-""--Entertainment Weekly"
"Sure-footed and psychologically calibrated . . . As the pages fly, the reader hardly notices that duBois has stretched the genre of the criminal procedural."--"Newsday"
"Provocative, meaningful and suspenseful."--"Chicago Tribune
" Jennifer duBois is] heir to some of the great novelists of the past, writers who caught the inner lives of their characters and rendered them on the page in beautiful, studied prose."--"Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2013
ISBN: 9780812995862
Characteristics: 368 p


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Aug 17, 2016

This book was extremely well-written. I don't know of any other author who could so flawlessly go between the storylines of a girl, the man prosecuting her, her family, their familial past, and the days leading up the crime. I never felt confused by the different stories swimming amongst each other, and the book held my interest the whole way through. The only things I didn't like were that we never 100% know what happened that night, and that the character of Sebastien LeCompte is a completely annoying waste of human life character. No one reading this should feel empathy for him.

Dec 21, 2014

Solid writing with alternating perspectives on a tragic crime. DuBois brings the story alive, and reveals the intriguing moral ambiguity to be found in different interpretations of guilt and innocence.

Aragon131 May 07, 2014

I decided to quit reading when I realized I was only 40 pages from the end so I figured might as well finish. I never really felt like I got to know the characters. Worse than not knowing what really happened was not caring. Well written but it just seemed to go in circles.

Apr 17, 2014

another winner by DuBois

Feb 07, 2014

okay, I had high hopes- there was a vast potential of ways to 'hook' me: murder investigation (check), exotic locale (check), girl friendship/rivalry (check), family dynamics (check)... failed most miserably on the exotic locale category. I have spent time in Buenos Aires and here vague descriptions and lack of interest in anything Argentinian not only failed the setting for the story- but also made me not quite believe the main character was engaged in a foreign exchange! I fell the 3 days with this book were time I could have used on better fiction-

Jan 31, 2014

Very good novel, I would read it again and recommend the book.

Nov 12, 2013

When I heard Random House was publishing a novel loosely inspired by the Amanda Knox murder trial, I was cautiously intrigued. Would it 1) feed into the mob-and-pitchfork media frenzy, or 2) try to flesh out all the contextual holes that get lost in 15 second media clips? I was psyched that it was door #2, which should be no surprise coming from Jennifer duBois. DuBois is a perceptive and artful storyteller, and Cartwheel switches between several different perspectives to zoom in on all the contours of a mysterious crime that became a cultural obsession. I love the light she shines darkly on the flawed assumptions that seduce us and the ways truth can be so unknowable. Emily Rankin (who's also recorded The Age of Miracles and others as Emily Janice Card) narrates the audio, and her eerily innocent voice is a great fit for this story about two young women setting out to discover a bigger, darker world.

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