I Have Some Questions for You
Bodie Kane is a podcaster and film professor who has been invited back to her boarding school in New Hampshire to teach a course. She isn’t nostalgic about her years at Granby; she was a misfit from Indiana, not wealthy like many classmates. Her memories are further marred by the murder of her former roommate, Thalia, in her senior year.
When her students decide to produce a podcast on Thalia's case, she is drawn back into the murder and her past. She begins to doubt the guilt of the Black athletic trainer who was convicted; and instead, she starts to suspect a beloved music teacher who may have had a relationship with Thalia. In a unique construct, she narrates directly to him throughout this literary mystery.
Makkai also wrote The Great Believers, a favorite of mine, and she delivers here as well. She is masterful at juxtaposing events and attitudes in multiple timelines, making sharp points at just the right moments.
I was hooked both by the plot and mystery itself, but also by her examination of memory and how the trappings and high emotions of teen life make accurate memories so difficult. She peeled back layers of the characters Bodie thought she knew as a teen and revealed more from her adult lens, giving us an unintentionally unreliable narrator. This still has me thinking and will be one of my best of 2023.
This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Please see Disclosures for more information.
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.