Friday, October 18, 2013


Jennifer duBois

When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn’t come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans.

Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who’s asking. As the case takes shape—revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA—Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her: the media, her family, the man who loves her and the man who seeks her conviction. With mordant wit and keen emotional insight, Cartwheel offers a prismatic investigation of the ways we decide what to see—and to believe—in one another and ourselves.

Jennifer duBois’s debut novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction and was honored by the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 program. In Cartwheel, duBois delivers a novel of propulsive psychological suspense and rare moral nuance. Who is Lily Hayes? What happened to her roommate? No two readers will agree. Cartwheel will keep you guessing until the final page, and its questions about how much we really know about ourselves will linger well beyond. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Lily is a foreign exchange student in Argentina. She connects with the quirky neighbor next door, Sebastien. To call Sebastien quirky is actually an understatement. Katy is another American foreign exchange student who lives with the same host family as Lily’s. When this story begins, we already know that Katy has been murdered. Cartwheel is the story of what took place prior to Katy being murdered, along with the investigation handled by Eduardo Campos.Along the way, we meet Lily’s parents and younger sister, who come to spend time in Buenos Aires after Lily is first arrested.

This was extremely well written. The author has a magical way with words. Because of the detailed writing, I felt like I knew Lily. But as the story unfolds, we come to ask - does anyone know the real Lily? And then there is Sebastien, who because of his odd nature, was probably my most favorite character. I loved his sarcastic wit and couldn’t wait to read what would come out of his mouth next.

I was hooked from the very first page. There was a lot going on with this story, but the author did a great job of connecting all the dots. Ms. duBois has been added to my list of authors to watch, as I am very interested in reading more of her writing.

Thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Random House, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

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