Desperate for answers, I pretty much blocked out the world to finish this book as fast as I could – and then there were no answers.
Susan Choi as an author is a neutral higher power who knows what you want and then calmly chooses not to give it to you, leaving you spinning in place and trying dumbly to figure out what on earth just happened. “Think, use your brain, you’ve got this.” This makes it sound like I disliked the book. I did not.
Trust Exercise is the story of Sarah and David, two talented students in a high school drama program who fall in love and fall apart under the gaze and influence of their larger-than-life teacher, Mr. Kingsley. And then it’s the story of that story.
Trust Exercise is constantly asking you to think critically about what you’re hearing, and from which source, and to whom the story and the truth belong. And in telling and retelling this story, it asks you to consider the ways in which our formative experiences shape and reverberate through the way we see the world.
I’m not a writer, and one of my favorite things about this book was the insight it gave me into how life events morph into fodder for stories. How one character or plotline can represent two, three, or five real-life people or events, and vice versa. It’s shown me new ways to turn my own life into stories – but also forced me to reckon with the ethics of doing so.
Masterful book, will send you into a full book club’s worth of debate with yourself as you try to piece together all the implications of what you’ve just read.