Book Review: Bradstreet Gate by Robin Kirman

Bradstreet Gate: A Novel by Robin Kirman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Crown

Summary:   Georgia, Charlie and Alice each arrive at Harvard with hopeful visions of what the future will hold. But when, just before graduation, a classmate is found murdered on campus, they find themselves facing a cruel and unanticipated new reality. Moreover, a charismatic professor who has loomed large in their lives is suspected of the crime. Though his guilt or innocence remains uncertain, the unsettling questions raised by the case force the three friends to take a deeper look at their tangled relationship. Their bond has been defined by the secrets they’ve kept from one another—Charlie’s love and Alice’s envy, Georgia’s mysterious affair—and over the course of the next decade, as they grapple with the challenges of adulthood and witness the unraveling of a teacher's once-charmed life, they must reckon with their own deceits and shortcomings, each desperately in search of answers and the chance to be forgiven.

A relentless, incisive, and keenly intelligent novel about promise, disappointment, and the often tenuous bonds of friendship, Bradstreet Gate is the auspicious debut of a tremendously talented new writer.

While there's truly beautiful prose here I felt overall disappointment. I wanted to "really like" it but I can only give this a nominal "like". This is the second book I've read this week with characters who are supposed to be friends but seem more like frienemies at the apex of their relationships. I oddly thought that the classmate murder mentioned in the book blurb would be a major factor in the plot but it was not and further did not really even seem central to what transpires between the main characters. I kept hoping until the last that it would at least be revealed who killed her and it was wasted hope. The ending was fairly abrupt but I'll admit that if I'd got the answer to the murder, I could have accepted it much more. I didn't at all mind that the characters weren't likable but I did have issue with the fact that I didn't find them all so compelling so as to make me really care to know more about them. Only two really were and the remainder, tedious. I'm not sure any of them really had enough actual character to sustain an entire book well. With that said, I'd likely read another by the author because some of the passages herein are the sort that will remain with me for a bit.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review.

Coming July 2015

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