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The Resource What she left, T. R. Richmond

What she left, T. R. Richmond

Label
What she left
Title
What she left
Statement of responsibility
T. R. Richmond
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
When Alice Salmon died last year, the ripples were felt in the news, on the internet, and in the hearts of those who knew her best. But the person who knows her most intimately isn't family or a friend. Dr Jeremy Cook is an academic whose life has become about piecing together Alice's existence in all its flawed and truthful reality. For Cooke, faithfully recreating Alice's life - through her diaries, emails and anything using her voice - is all-consuming. He does not know how deep his search will take him, or the shocking nature of what he will uncover
Storyline
Pace
Character
Review
  • This debut novel by a London journalist is very cleverly constructed, consisting of blog posts, diary entries, letters, police transcripts, and e-mails all concerned with the life and death of 25-year-old reporter Alice Salmon, whose lifeless body was found in the river on the campus of the University of Southampton in England. Was it suicide or murder? Professor Jeremy Cooke, an anthropologist also known as Old Cookie, was one of Alice’s teachers, has a personal connection to her family, and soon becomes obsessed with piecing together Alice’s life through her digital footprint. Neurotic and beautiful, Alice had some very tempestuous romantic relationships, but the investigation into her death stalls until some reluctant witnesses come forth. All of the players have some serious secrets that contribute to the difficulty of figuring out what happened. Jumps in chronology make Richmond’s whodunit somewhat confusing to follow, but the accumulation of Alice’s various communications, as well as those of her friends and family, makes for a full-bodied portrait of a lively, if vulnerable, young woman and gives Richmond’s novel a contemporary feel. -- Wilkinson, Joanne (Reviewed 10-15-2015) (Booklist, vol 112, number 4, p34)
  • Emails, texts, tweets, letters, and the like—all related to the death of Alice Salmon, a 25-year-old up-and-coming British writer—make up this confusing thriller from the pseudonymous Richmond, a London journalist. Alice’s body is found in a river in her former university’s town of Southampton. Did she accidentally drown after a wild night of drinking? Commit suicide? Or was she murdered? Her former anthropology professor, Jeremy Cooke, decides to publish a book that recreates her life through all the musings of Alice and her friends and family that the Internet can supply. These dispatches are slow going: both because they’re full of unnatural conversations between Cooke and Alice’s acquaintances, and because the online contemplations appear in random order. Readers must continually go back to check the dates of postings by Alice, boyfriend Luke Addison, best friend Megan Parker, and Alice’s mum to figure out who did what when. In the end, the truth of Alice’s demise arrives out of nowhere. Agent: Kate Burton, Penguin U.K. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed November 16, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 46, p)
  • British author Richmond has a promising and timely framework in this modified epistolary suspense debut novel. As the book opens, the body of Alice Salmon has washed up on a riverbank and social media is alive with speculation—first about why the police and paramedics have gathered on campus and then with theories (some close to the truth, some wildly off) about what happened to Alice. Jeremy Cooke, an anthropologist and professor who knew Alice's mother and feels a strong connection to the young woman, decides to write a book documenting her life and death. He's using the blog posts and tweets and Facebook mentions as well as interviews and news articles to create a picture of Alice and to tell her story. But what starts out as an academic exercise turns into something of an obsession for Jeremy. His determination to unveil the truth brings to light other people's secrets and someone's not happy about that. VERDICT Though the writing is solid and the setup using the variety of sources to tell the tale is engrossing, the book never quite delivers on that potential. Because the story is reported, there is a distance between character and reader that mutes the suspense.— Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI --Jane Jorgenson (Reviewed October 15, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 17, p76)
  • An aging anthropologist blurs the line between obsession and research in Richmond's character study-cum-murder mystery. When 25-year-old Alice Salmon, a promising young reporter with a party-girl streak, is found dead in a frozen Southampton canal after a night drinking with friends, it seems like an tragic accident, a raucous evening gone horribly awry. But to professor Jeremy Cooke, his former student is no ordinary victim, and in her death, he sees his next project—and his own chance at redemption. By collecting the fragments she left behind—the text messages and emails, the news articles and diary entries—he will do more than make sense of her death. He will revive her. "Might it be possible," he wonders, "to reconstruct a life out of such fragments? To reassemble a person, piece them back together from such soluble shards?" But if one half of the resulting opus belongs to Alice, the journals and tweets and Spotify playlists adding up to a kind of coming-of-age story, then the other half—the mystery half—belongs to Jeremy himself. In letters to his childhood pen pal, he theorizes, opines, speculates, and self-flagellates, piecing together what happened to Alice while coming to terms with fragments of his own history. It's a clever device: Jeremy's letters are part of the Alice-ephemera, but they're also the glue that holds it together. But despite the many details that ought to add up to psychological nuance, Jeremy never quite transcends pompous professorial clichés, and his overwrought narration begins to grate. The novel's suspense may lie in Jeremy's letters, but the book is most alive (ironically) when it's with Alice, and the details of her life trump the ultimately hollow intrigue of her death. Fun but flimsy.(Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10435246
Cataloging source
AUCPL
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Richmond, T. R
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • College students
  • College teachers
  • Women college students
  • Drowning victims
Target audience
adult
Label
What she left, T. R. Richmond
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
000054467534
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
372 pages
Isbn
9780718179373
Isbn Type
(paperback)
Lccn
2015004385
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)905880901
Label
What she left, T. R. Richmond
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
000054467534
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
372 pages
Isbn
9780718179373
Isbn Type
(paperback)
Lccn
2015004385
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)905880901

Library Locations

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      Level 1, Royal Randwick Shopping Centre, Randwick, NSW, 2031, AU
      -33.9151421 151.2408898
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