Excerpt from the book:



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Rebecca Makkai, author of “The Great Believers,” is back. “I have some questions for you.” (Vikings), a New York Times best-selling novel about a woman who still investigates the mystery surrounding the decades-old murder of her boarding school roommate.

Read the excerpt below.

“I have a few questions for you” by Rebecca Mackay (hardcover)

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“You’ve heard of her,” I say—a challenge, a guarantee. To the woman sitting on the bar stool in the neighborhood hotel who misstarts the conversation, to the dentist who runs out of questions about my kids and asks what I’ve been up to.

Sometimes they know her right away. You may ask, “Wasn’t that where the man locked her in her basement?” no! no it wasn’t.

It wasn’t where she was stabbed – no. The girl she rode with in the taxi was another girl. Where she went to fraternity, where he used her stick, where he used her hammer, where he picked him up from rehab, and he-no. Where he used to watch her jog every day? What’s wrong with saying your period is late? Are you with Uncle? Wait, uncle and one more person?

No: it was the one with the pool. People with alcohol – people with hair around – with a man who confessed – yes. yes.

They nodded and comforted. by what?

My bar stool neighbor pulls celery from her Bloody Mary and crushes it. They speak her name in their mouths, their memories. “I definitely know that,” they say.

“That person,” because she now has a story, a story you know or don’t know, a story with a limited set of details, a story you learn by memorizing maps and timelines.

“Boarding school guy!” they say. “I remember the one in the video. You. Already knew she? ”

If you do a search you’ll find her picture murder in new hampshire, alongside a mugshot from the recent meth-addled tragedy. One photo of her (she smiling with her mouth instead of her eyes) hints at her deep misfortune and is prone to clickbait. Here’s just a shot of her tennis team cut out of the yearbook. If you know Talia, it’s easy to see that she wasn’t actually upset, she was just smiling for the camera when she was reluctant.

It was a story told and told.

It was just that she was young enough, white enough, beautiful enough, wealthy enough that people paid attention to her.

It was something we were all young enough to think someone smarter had the answer.

Maybe that was what we did wrong.

Maybe it was something we were all collectively under the weight of a feather.

From “I Have Some Questions For You” by Rebecca Makkai, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2023 Rebecca Mackay Freeman.

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“I have a few questions for you” by Rebecca Mackay (hardcover)

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Written by Natalia Chi

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