Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Exposure by Therese Fowler ~ review
About the book:
In Exposure, Therese Fowler has written her most gripping novel to date—a ripped-from-the-headlines story of ardent young love and a nightmarish legal maelstrom that threatens to destroy two families.
Amelia Wilkes’s strict father does not allow her to date, but that doesn’t stop the talented, winsome high school senior from carrying on a secret romance with her classmate Anthony Winter. Desperately in love, the two envision a life together and plan to tell Amelia’s parents only after she turns eighteen and is legally an adult. Anthony’s mother, Kim, who teaches at their school, knows—and keeps—their secret. But the couple’s passion is exposed sooner than planned: Amelia’s father, Harlan, is shocked and infuriated to find naked pictures of Anthony on his daughter’s computer. Just hours later, Anthony is arrested.
Despite Amelia’s frantic protests, Harlan uses his wealth and influence with local law enforcement and the media to label Anthony a deviant who preyed on his innocent daughter. Spearheaded by a zealous prosecutor anxious to turn the case into a public crusade against “sexting,” the investigation soon takes an even more disturbing and destructive turn.
As events spiral wildly out of control and the scandalous story makes national news, Amelia and Anthony risk everything in a bold and dangerous attempt to clear their names and end the madness once and for all.
A captivating page-turner, Therese Fowler’s Exposure is also a deftly crafted, provocative, and timely novel that serves as a haunting reminder of the consequences of love in the modern age.
My take on this book:
Having never read anything by Therese Fowler I wasn't sure what to expect with "Exposure." I have read several fiction works about the subject of sex ting and wondered how different another book about the topic might be. Well I must say that I became captivated by this book immediately, the authors writing style completely drew me in, she allows you to feel the emotions the characters feel, and because the topic discussed in this book is quite timely it was easy to imagine how this scenario might actually happen.
She gives us the story of Anthony and Amelia. While they both attend Ravenswood Academy, they come from different worlds. Amelia is a seventeen year old who is the only child of Harlan and Sheri Wilkes. Having grown up poor Harlan worked his way into owning several car dealerships in the area, but since he never forgot growing up poor he is determined to shelter his daughter from a life of adversity by planning out her future for her.Anthony is eighteen and grew up in a single parent home, his ticket to Ravenswood Academy is the fact that his mother took a teaching position there.
Anthony and Amelia are drawn together because of their love of theater. They are making plans for where they want to go to school, and while they are able to share their plans with Anthony's mother,everything has to stay hidden from the Wilkes, until Amelia graduates, because she knows her parents will never allow her to follow thru with her plans, because they are so different from what her father wants her to do.
When Amelia forgets her laptop on a kitchen counter, her father decides to do a little snooping, shocked when he finds several naked pictures of Anthony. Unwilling to listen to his daughter, Harlan becomes irate and wants Anthony to be punished, but when Anthony's computer is confiscated pictures are found that cause Amelia to be arrested as well.
This book is filled with well developed characters. Amelia and Anthony are so easy to envision, so in love and full of hope for the future. Because we get the story from so many points of view, it is really hard to label anyone as a bad guy. I could understand Amelia and Anthony exchanging those pictures,never realizing something that they did out of love would be exposed. As a parent I could definitely understand how Harlan must have felt when he found those pictures on his daughters computer. I think the one person whose opinion I would have liked to read more of was Amelia's mother Sheri, she seemed to be in the background quite a bit, and allowed Harlan to make the decisions.
I did enjoy the fact that the Wilkes' dog a golden Lab named Buttercup was mentioned several times in this story.
I really enjoyed this eye opening, thought provoking story and will certainly be looking for more work from this talented author.
Therese Fowler is the author of Souvenir and Reunion. She has worked in the U.S. Civil Service, managed a clothing store, lived in the Philippines, had children, sold real estate, earned a B.A. in sociology, sold used cars, returned to school for her M.F.A. in creative writing, and taught college undergrads about literature and fiction writing—roughly in that order. With books published in nine languages and sold worldwide, Fowler writes full-time from her home in Wake Forest, North Carolina, which she shares with her husband, four amiable cats, and four nearly grown-up sons. Her latest book is Exposure: A Novel. You can visit Therese Fowler’s website at http://www.theresefowler.com/.