cover image The Best Kind of People

The Best Kind of People

Zoe Whittall, read by Cassandra Campbell. Random House Audio, unabridged, 9 CDs, 11.5 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-525-49412-6

Campbell is a seasoned narrator with a lovely, lilting tone who creates easily recognized voices and mannerisms for the diverse characters in Whittall’s latest. Joan’s husband George is universally admired as an upstanding member of his community, as perpetual teacher of the year, and as a hero who saved his daughter and other children from a gun-wielding maniac. Then, suddenly, George lands in jail. He is alleged to have sexually abused more than one of the girls in his daughter’s high school class. Campbell hooks listeners in the gruesome swings between denial and rage experienced by George’s wife, Joan, his daughter, Sadie, and his son, Andrew. At times the characterization of Joan sounds too whiny for a character who otherwise comes across as a strong woman. Nevertheless, Campbell carries listeners convincingly and sympathetically through each family member’s struggle to come to terms with George’s culpability. A Ballantine hardcover. (Sept.)