Kate Baron is a stressed yet successful 40-something New York lawyer and single mum to fifteen year old Amelia. Despite Kate’s long hours, she and Amelia have a very good relationship, and she makes time for Amelia, as much as she can. Amelia, in turn, is a bright, happy girl and it is clear they adore each other.
One day Kate receives a call from Amelia's expensive private school to say that she has been suspended for cheating on an assignment and request that Kate comes to collect her immediately. However Kate is delayed and when she arrives she discovers that Amelia is dead having jumped off the school roof. Kate does not understand how her bright, happy level-headed daughter could have done this and tries to unravel the events that led up to Amelia’s death. Did she really know her daughter as well as she thought she did?
The book is told both from Kate's perspective, mostly at the current time and Amelia's perspective in the two months or so prior to her death. Author McCreight weaves an absorbing tale that leaves you guessing and guessing again as to the circumstances that lead to Amelia's tragic death. At times the book can be very moving, and I found the characters mostly realistic, if not always relate-able. I couldn't wait to get back to the story and see how it unfolded which is very high praise. I believe this is McCreight’s debut novel and I would be keen to read any subsequent works she has published.