Hi y’all! Kaylie here, so SO excited to talk about Anatomy of a Scandal with you all! I’m sure you’ve been seeing it all over Bookstagram and Goodreads recently, and for good reason! Let’s get started…
Told from various POVs in alternating timelines, Anatomy of a Scandal tells the story of James Whitehouse, an up-and-coming political figure, loving husband to Sophie, and attentive father…until he reveals that he was unfaithful. Now, he faces rape allegations from his mistress. No one can believe it (I mean, he’s so handsome, he had such an affluent upbringing, and he has children! He couldn’t possibly be a rapist, right?) except for the barrister in charge of prosecuting him, Kate, who will stop at nothing until justice is served.
Anatomy of a Scandal is definitely a thriller, but not in a tearing-through-the-pages, sudden-shock-every-other-chapter kind of way. Just like a lawyer in a courtroom, it carefully builds its case, provides background and context, pleads its case with you, until the conclusion. My favorite part is that you get the opportunity to develop your own theories as the story progresses, as you get to know the key players, and learn about the secrets that they keep.
This book was released at the opportune moment, given the recent publicity of the Me, Too initiative and the world’s decision to finally start prosecuting sexual-assaults, even when they involve reputable people of great power. It was also so incredibly difficult to read, not for lack of writing skill, but for the fact that this story seemed as if it were on the cover of a newspaper and not a work of fiction. As Vaughan clearly says, cases like these are often “he said, she said,” and everything from your past sexual encounters to your wardrobe can be reasons used for excusing inappropriate behavior. It absolutely crushed me because my thoughts immediately drifted to current headlines.
If you’re looking for your next selection for your book club and really want to get in depth into the discussion, I highly recommend Anatomy of a Scandal. It’s thrilling, it’s complex, and it’s SO RELEVANT for this day and age. It’s getting 4.5 stars in my book (4 stars on Goodreads because they refuse to let us give half-stars).
Thank you so much to the publisher for providing my copy. It truly is a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts.