A Student of Living Things

A Student of Living Things

by Susan Richards Shreve

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The Frayn family of Washington, D.C., is coping pretty well with twenty-first century realities of life?snipers, bomb threats, natural disasters, etc. Then, in the moment it takes Claire Frayn to dig for her umbrella, her politically outspoken brother Steven is shot down right next to her on the library steps.

Steven's murder shatters the tightly knit Frayn family, and his sister Claire becomes determined to unravel the mystery of why her brother was killed. Searching for answers, Claire meets Victor, an enigmatic stranger who claims to know who killed Steven. Claire begins an unusual correspondence with the suspected assassin, but instead of uncovering the truth of her brother's death, she finds herself drawn to this man, and increasingly apprehensive about cooperating with Victor's plans to avenge Steven's death.

A gripping family drama with an unusual love story at its center, this is an intimate portrait of grief, the futility of revenge, and the miracle of forgiveness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440696060
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/03/2007
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 906,735
File size: 641 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Susan Richards Shreve has published twelve novels and twenty-six books for children, and has coedited five anthologies. A professor at George Mason University, she has received several grants for fiction including from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a former visiting professor at Princeton and Columbia universities.

What People are Saying About This

Pulitzer Prizewinning author of Independence Richard Ford

Stylish and sleek and tightly configured. (Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Independence Day)

Ha Jin

Elegantly written and ingeniously plotted. (Ha Jin, author of War Trash)

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A Student of Living Things 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Djupstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good storyline with a mystery element. Smart book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in this book. It moves very slowly and isn't much of a thriller. A predictable plot with little action. Life is too short to read books like this.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Claire Frayn is a post graduate student majoring in biology at George Washington University her brother Steven is studying law at the school and enjoys writing articles criticizing the government. Claire and Steven head to the university together while their parents debate his latest condemnation, this time of the Department of Justice¿s use of the Freedom for Democracy Act to trample on individual rights under the guise of keeping people safe. At the school¿s library, an assassin shoots and kills Steven right near Claire --- Claire goes through the five steps of grief, but wants revenge against the killer who conveniently escapes law enforcement however she feels helpless as she has no idea who he or she is or how to uncover the culprit¿s identity. From Michigan, music composer Victor Duarte contacts Claire informing her he can help her with her need to avenge her sibling. She is enticed by his offer as her family remains devastated by the tragedy and is not there for her. However, as Claire heals she begins to ponder who charismatic Victor is, as he seems to know too much yet the second civil war in her mind began with that bullet on the library steps. --- Though the introduction to the extended Frayn family takes its time, once Steven is murdered, the story line turns into a terrific thriller that never slows down until the climax. Claire is a wonderful heroine struggling with the death of her brother as much as with her feelings of hopelessness until Victor offers her an opportunity. Like Claire when she begins to regain her equilibrium and leave behind much of the fog of grief, readers will wonder if she has agreed to a Faustian deal. Readers will be a student of Susan Richards Shreve following this tense tale. --- Harriet Klausner