Title: Accusation, The
Authors: James, Wendy
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 340
Year: 2019
Language: English
Description: Eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning's account of her abduction and escape, garners her instant attention and sympathy. She becomes a media darling, and in the furore that follows her accusing Susannah Wells, a middle-aged teacher and newcomer to the area, of her incarceration, the media can't get enough of the story. But is it possible that the truth could end up being a casualty as much as Ellie was?

Loosely based on the 18th century English Canning affair, this clever Australian thriller with its convincing characters and astute depiction of small-town dynamics, calls attention to the manipulation of public opinion in the age of the social media 'influencer'.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"The narrative moves along at a great pace and there were times I just had to finish the chapter before turning the light out."

"I like the idea of crime thrillers but rarely enjoy read them – I enjoyed this one."

"Good pace, easy read, intriguing premise."

"I think the author captured beautifully the small-minded pettiness of life in a small town."

"A good story made better for discussion by the primary subject matter being very topical."

"Wonderfully well-drawn and utterly believable characters."

"Very well constructed plot, keeps the reader on tenterhooks and thoroughly engaged."

"While I enjoyed the book, I think the ending was a little soft."
Categories: Fiction, Community, Contemporary, Relationships, Suspense/Thriller, True Crime, Australia, 2022 Titles


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By: CHCH 481 2022-05-05 15:24:17
Lively discussion. A page turner, and an interesting look at social media.

By: FEILD 001 2022-04-22 12:51:19
Mixed opinions. Most felt this book did not engender the quality of discussion that most of our reads generally do. No one commented on the writing - most felt it a little 'limited'. Some felt that the characters were well developed enough.

By: WAIHEK 002 2022-03-02 13:02:28
Some of us really enjoyed it, others really didn't. Those that did thought it was an easy read, others thought the characters were terrible. A real mixed bag!

By: ROTO 015 2022-03-02 11:29:30
Good book. Some of us predicted the story finale early on, but a good read for all.

By: NELS 061 2022-01-26 12:29:16
Great book.

By: WESTP 006 2021-10-26 13:55:12
Half of us liked it and the other half had reservations, from memory!! We thought it started out well and had a very quick and therefore not so believable finish. We all liked the mother character, although none of us wanted to be in her daughter's shoes re caring for her. Everyone read the book, and the discussion was lively and brought up the damage that can be done via social media and the local interpretation and dishing out of punishment was also talked about. We Googled the original story which was interesting to everyone.

By: NELS 086 2021-08-23 12:33:11
Easy read, but a bit shallow.

By: WHAKA 020 2021-06-30 14:19:23
Plot a bit weak. A light quick read.

By: TIMAR 011 2021-06-28 10:30:41
All 10 of us read it. Nine enjoyed it, and rated it 4 or 4.5. Comments related to it being a quick, pacey and easy read, with well developed characters. One member didn't like it, and found it unconvincing and shallow. We talked about the original case (1750s), and the Josephine Tey interpretation (1940s).The 2020s version led us to a discussion of the impact of social media. We also thought the character of Ellie Canning was shown to have talent and opportunity in spite of her difficult upbringing, and thus avoided the issue of 'victim shaming'.

By: CHCH 312 2021-06-16 14:33:30
An interesting read - some of us picked the ending, some didn't see it coming. The 'mother' character was quirky. The realities of how manipulative people can be, and how an accusation can easily destroy people's lives in the court of public opinion is a little scary.

By: NELS 061 2021-04-21 12:24:50
Great book.

By: TAUR 035 2021-02-23 14:20:21
An enjoyable read. Easy to pick up and difficult to put down.

The Book Discussion 
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