I Have Some Questions for You
By: Rebecca Makkai
Publication Date: 02/21/2023
My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by TIME, The Seattle Times, Good Housekeeping, Today.com, Southern Living, and CrimeReads
The riveting new novel from the author of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist The Great Believers
A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past—the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. Though the circumstances surrounding Thalia’s death and the conviction of the school’s athletic trainer, Omar Evans, are hotly debated online, Bodie prefers—needs—to let sleeping dogs lie.
But when the Granby School invites her back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent ﬂaws. In their rush to convict Omar, did the school and the police overlook other suspects? Is the real killer still out there? As she falls down the very rabbit hole she was so determined to avoid, Bodie begins to wonder if she wasn’t as much of an outsider at Granby as she’d thought—if, perhaps, back in 1995, she knew something that might have held the key to solving the case.
In I Have Some Questions for You, award-winning author Rebecca Makkai has crafted her most irresistible novel yet: a stirring investigation into collective memory and a deeply felt examination of one woman’s reckoning with her past, with a transﬁxing mystery at its heart. Timely, hypnotic, and populated with a cast of unforgettable characters, I Have Some Questions for You is at once a compulsive page-turner and a literary triumph.
Rebecca Makkai returns following The Great Believers with I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU —a riveting crime thriller—part boarding school drama, forensic whodunit, literary, murder mystery, and psychological suspense.
Bodie Kane (in her forties), a popular podcaster and film professor, returns from LA to New Hampshire to an elite boarding school to teach a class in 2018. Bodie lives next door to her husband: They separated, but they are still good friends with benefits and raise two young children together.
When she was a student in the 90s, her roommate was murdered, and during her visit to Granby, she began to believe the wrong man might have been convicted. Her roommate, Thalia Keith, who was killed in 1995, was beautiful and rich.
Two students start a Serial-like podcast about the killing of Thalia Keith, whose murder was pinned on the school's Black athletic trainer, Omar Evans.
Questions are raised about the validity of the case against Omar and Thalia's classmates' racist assumptions. He spent 20 years in prison and may be innocent.
Bodie reexamines her thinking, re-lives the past, and what actually happened. There is a prime suspect who has never been investigated, the music teacher.
Where were the students hiding?
Another storyline regarding Bodie and her ex converges, driving the plot and keeping you on the edge of your seat. Readers will relate to the flawed protagonist, Bodie.
There are vital and critical themes and topics addressed in the novel, from white privilege, race class, gender, sex, and more in this timely, well-written, and gripping thriller.
Thought-provoking and a perfect title. Ideal for book clubs and further discussions. An emotional exploration into collective memory and a deeply felt examination of one woman's reckoning with her past, with a provocative mystery at its heart.
Compulsive, hauntingly beautiful, I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU is reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History meets Serial.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 5 🌟 Stars
Pub Date: Jan 21, 2023
Jan 2023 Must-Read Books
Top Books of 2023 List
“A beguiling campus novel . . . Chilled as the deep New England winters during which it takes place and twisty with the slowly found and then suddenly illuminated branches of memory, Makkai's rich, winding story dazzles from cover to cover.” —Booklist (starred review)
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by TIME, NPR, USA Today, Elle, Newsweek, Salon, Bustle, AARP, The Millions, Good Housekeeping, and more
“I’ve been waiting years for a book like this! You will laugh, think, think again, cry and stay up all night finishing it. Unputdownable and unforgettable. Makkai has written the book of the season.” —Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less and Less Is Lost
“Both a deeply satisfying crime story and a thoughtful, even provocative, novel of ideas, I Have Some Questions for You narrates one woman’s interrogation of her own past while in turn posing difficult questions directly to its reader: about sex, power, privilege, and the ambient violence of contemporary American life. What a feat.”
—Rumaan Alam, New York Times bestselling author of Leave the World Behind
“Part boarding school drama, part forensic whodunnit, I Have Some Questions for You is a true literary mystery—haunting and hard to put down.”
—Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad and The Candy House
“Some books are so universal that they feel bizarrely specific: I read I Have Some Questions for You as if it was written just for me, but I can't imagine who wouldn't love it. Timely, provocative, nuanced, generous—Rebecca Makkai astonishes once again with the perfect combination of brains and heart.”
—Laura Lippmann, author of Dream Girl
“Rebecca Makkai’s extraordinary storytelling gifts are on full display in I Have Some Questions for You, a tense, sharply drawn, and impeccably plotted literary mystery and an urgent, propulsive story of the collision of gender, race, and class in a New England boarding school. I loved walking alongside narrator Bodie Kane—angry, obsessive, struggling with her own traumatic memories—in her imperfect attempts to reckon with a past she longs to leave behind.”
—Elizabeth Wetmore, New York Times bestselling author of Valentine
“One of the things I love most about Rebecca Makkai’s writing is her absolutely engaging voice; reading her books feels like hearing a well-told story by a longtime friend. This book—through the voice of its beautifully complex narrator, Bodie Kane—brings readers along on a journey they won't forget.”
—Liz Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Long Bright River
“The Secret History meets Serial…[in this] modern campus novel, in which a woman goes back to her old boarding school to teach a class on podcasting and winds up reliving—and relitigating—her own youth and the murder of a classmate.”
“This psychological thriller hits all the high notes, complete with at least a few revelations you won't see coming.”
“Clever and deeply thoughtful . . . a deliciously complex reckoning . . . [I Have Some Questions for You] is sure to be a hit.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Every year, I look for the novels that truly respect their victims, and think carefully about the tropes of true crime; for 2023, [I Have Some Questions for You] is that novel.”
—Molly Odintz, CrimeReads
“[Makkai adds] intriguing layers of complication . . . Well plotted, well written, and well designed.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Makkai's novel takes on some of the defining issues of its time [...] without battering readers with them. Instead, Makkai carefully winds her themes around her story's scaffolding, which strengthens her masterly plot even more.”
About the Author
Photo by Brett Simison
Rebecca Makkai’s last novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the Clark Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and it was chosen as one of the Ten Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime—four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. A 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe and Northwestern University, and is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago. WEBSITE