Written by: Marissa Kanaris
I LOVED this book. “The Best Kind of People” by Zoe Whittal was so good that I seriously considered pulling an all-nighter just so I didn’t have to put it down. But with the clock nearing 2am, and a toddler in the next room who could wake up at any moment, the idea of a good nights rest eventually won me over. George, the husband and father and beloved teacher, maintains his innocence when arrested for sexual misconduct against female students. The reader is taken into the thoughts of Joan, the wife; Andrew, the son; and Sadie, the daughter, who are struggling to decide what to believe. They also have to somehow continue with their everyday lives in the midst of this tragedy and function in a town divided while waiting for George’s trial. Sexual assault cases are complex and emotional, yet Whittal writes about this charged topic in a way that isn’t offensive and that looks into an angle that I’d never considered-the accused’s family. They have to continue their lives during the months before the trial while facing judgement from the town and grappling with the implications of this event. Whittal satisfies some of our curiosity about George and the sexual assault charges, but doesn’t let the details overshadow the point of this book, which is to allow Sadie, Joan and Andrew to tell their stories. The topic of this book is heavy, but very in touch with the conversations going on today about sexual assault. How much do we really know about our loved ones? What are we each capable of? How do we protect those we love? How do we continue with our lives after our family is affected by a criminal event? So be prepared that this book deals with a lot of deep questions, but they are 100% worth delving into through this storyline. “The Best Kind of People” is heartbreaking, explorative, and shocking.