Those Who Knew
Idra Novey’s second novel, Those Who Knew, seems to be deeply linked to our current moment — though Novey could not have predicted that. (In one interview I read, it explains Novey finished the book before the Harvey Weinstein news surfaced.) Released on Election Day, her novel tells the tale of a corrupt politician on an unnamed island who covers up killing a young college student he was having an affair with (think House of Cards). Most reviews of the book call it a “Me Too saga,” but to me, so many books that deal with sexual assault or awful men can be called that. (As a Washington Post review begins, “Novels written to fit into particular cultural moments often end up feeling dated, sometimes even as early as when they hit bookstores. But then there are novels that fall into relevancy by accident, allowing them to feel both immediate and timeless.”
It took me a bit to get into because the narration is split between 6 characters. The story begins with the death of Maria P., a student activist killed by a bus, whose death is quickly ruled an accident. Lena, a young professor who once had an affair with a rising politician named Victor (who gets his own chapters), suspects Victor had something to do with it. Interweaving perspectives of Lena, Victor, Victor’s brother, Victor’s wife, Lena’s friend, and a man whom Lena has an affair with, the story takes you in an and out of the nuances of power and abuse. As Claire Fallon writes in HuffPost, “Novey’s characters are forever picking at their privileges, seeing them not simply as rhetorical admissions but as dangerous things, knives they might accidentally cut someone with.”
Once the story gets rolling — and you get into the different voices of the characters — you feel like you need to know what happens. It’s a worthwhile read.
Get it here - https://amzn.to/2RPPVoS