The Best Kind of People: A Novel


About the Book

Shortlisted for the Giller Prize * A local schoolteacher is arrested for a heinous crime, leaving his family to wrestle with the possibility of his guilt in this exquisite novel about loyalty, truth, and happiness.

The Woodburys cherish life in the affluent, bucolic suburb of Avalon Hills, Connecticut. George is a beloved science teacher at the local prep school, a hero who once thwarted a gunman, and his wife, Joan, is a hardworking ER nurse. They have brought up their children in this thriving town of wooded yards and sprawling lakes.

Then one night a police car pulls up to the Woodbury home and George is charged with sexual misconduct with students from his daughter's school. As he sits in prison awaiting trial and claiming innocence Joan vaults between denial and rage as friends and neighbors turn cold. Their daughter, seventeen-year-old Sadie, is a popular high school senior who becomes a social outcast - and finds refuge in an unexpected place. Her brother, Andrew, a lawyer in New York, returns home to support the family, only to confront unhappy memories from his past. A writer tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men's rights activist group attempts to recruit Sadie for their cause.

Provocative and unforgettable, The Best Kind of People reveals the cracks along the seams of even the most perfect lives and the unraveling of an American family.

Praise from Canada for The Best Kind of People

"[Zoe] Whittall's intuitive understanding of human nature makes The Best Kind of People a gripping novel, one that shines a light on family dynamics under extreme pressure." - The Vancouver Sun

"Whittall's undisputed talent as a writer shines, as does her understanding into the complexity of our sympathies, our morality, and our humanity. With incredible empathy and undeniable skill this book is sure to spark much-needed dialogue, vital debate, and richly deserved acclaim." - Stacey May Fowles, author of Infidelity

"The Best Kind of People examines the effects of rape culture on an entire community with rare nuance and insight. Every character is fully rounded, flawed, and achingly human. It puts me in mind of a twenty-first-century Ordinary People." - Kate Harding, author of Asking for It

"This may just be Whittall's breakout novel, and deservedly so." - The Winnipeg Review

"Taut, compassionate and clever." - Toronto Star

About the Author

Zoe Whittall
track author

Zoe Whittall is the author of the National Bestselling noevl The Best Kind of People, published in Canada in 2016 (House of Anansi) , and in the U.K. (Hodder & Stoughton) and the U.S. (Random House) in 2017. She is the author of two previous literary novels, Holding Still for as Long as Possible (2010) won a Lamda Literary Award and was a Stonewall Book Award honor book, and was shortlisted for the ReLit Award. Bottle Rocket Hearts (2007) was selected as one of CBC's Canada Reads top ten most important books of the decade, and named a best book of the year by The Globe & Mail. She has published three books of poetry, most recently Precordial Thump (exile, 2008) . She lives in Toronto where she has worked as a TV writer on The Baroness Von Sketch Show, Schitt's Creek, and Degrassi.

Item Details

Publication Year:
US Salesrank: 760151


Bottom Line:
 3.5 / 5 - Good
Reviewed by: Brian McCulloh

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