The Best Kind of People

The Best Kind of People

Book - 2016
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National Bestseller

2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist

National Post 99 Best Books of the Year

Indigo Best Book of the Year

Globe and Mail Best 100 Books of 2016

What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?

George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father's defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men's rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?

With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.

Publisher: Toronto : House of Anansi Press, 2016.
ISBN: 9781770899421
Branch Call Number: FIC Whitt
Characteristics: 405 pages ; 21 cm.


From Library Staff

How would you react if someone you love is accused of doing something terrible ? This novel explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness.

From the critics

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Jan 07, 2018

I was very intrigued by this book and the subject matter had some familiarity to me so I was not really surprised by the ending; I was kind of expecting it. It's the wide-ranging fallout from these incidents that are so rarely thought of and I thought this was handled well in the story. There were some problems with details and continuity in the writing and I could almost pick the exact spot in the book where the author changed the location from Canada to the US and hastily went back and edited. I began to wonder if the novel being written by a character in the book was a "novel within a novel" and if this book was also based on a true story where characters and locations needed to be altered.

samdog123 Oct 20, 2017

What would you do if your husband was suddenly arrested for attempted rape and improper conduct with a minor? Would you believe they were innocent and support them, or would you turn your back on them? These are the issues that Joan, Andrew and Sadie Woodbury face when George is suddenly arrested. An agonizing dilemma make for a good read, but I expected more reaction from the main characters than what there was.

Oct 17, 2017

I read this book because my stepfather is a pedophile and my mother, who knows, has stayed with him. I found her actions the hardest to forgive and impossible to understand. There are no books about "women who stay with pedophiles".

Perhaps this is too much information; I mention it because I believe the ending is perfect. It is what actually happens, especially when there is no criminal prosecution. People go on, even after being ripped up, and the ones who rip up others still need their emotional needs met and still have intimate connections that they crave.

Some, not all, of the ones who were ripped up cannot form connections with new people because part of them is broken, but in a way that jives with the one who broke them. Bad love is better than no love for some, and is just as strong.

This was an amazing book, the complexity and the nuances were as ephemeral as reasons for why people do the things they do.

Aug 06, 2017

I was really enticed by this book most of the way through, but was thoroughly disappointed by the ending, which is arguably the most important part of a book.
There was a lot of good struggle and some personal development for certain characters. It was really the ending that ruined it for me.

Jul 05, 2017

Found this clunky and rather pointless. Characters are without merit so I really didn't care what happened to them. Pacing was very slow.

Apr 20, 2017

I really enjoyed this novel about a respected and highly regarded teacher in a small town that is accused of attempted sexual assault by several of his students. The nightmare that his wife, son and daughter must now endure through the ostracization of those that were once colleagues and friends is thought provoking. The ending may not be to the liking of some but I respect the author not giving us a predictable closure.

Apr 08, 2017

** spoiler alert ** It has been a while since I have read a book that I could not put down. I wanted to find out what happened. I can't say I really enjoyed it, the subject matter is difficult and I so wanted the wife Joan and the daughter Sadie to pull out of the nightmare their life had been throughout the year before the trial with some dignity and a promise for a fulfilling life. But the impression is that Sadie is still conflicted and Joan eventually goes back to George. And life in Avalon Hills is back to normal, like nothing has happened!

Mar 15, 2017

This book is an insightful look at what happens to the members of a family when the father is accused of the attempted rape of a minor. I thought this was very well done for the most part and a great study of character. The book also touches on many current day social issues and handles them thoughtfully.

Akmcgill Feb 21, 2017

I was really excited to read The Best Kind of People. The blurb sounded great and the very few chapters were really interesting. But then the unlikable characters and boring story line took over. I couldn't wait to finish this novel just to get it over with.

Feb 02, 2017

Great book ! Finished in aday

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Aug 08, 2017

libraryeri thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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