Carthweel

Cartwheel

By Jennifer duBois

Two American college girls room together for a homestay during their study abroad semester in Argentina.   One ends up dead, the other ends up accused of murder.

The story follows the family of the accused and their attempt to understand the circumstances and navigate the process of the trial while alternating chapters go back to the beginning of the semester and follow the roommates’ lives up until the murder.  

This book is inspired by some freaky true events (See Murder of Meredith Kercher) that I certainly hope do not deter readers from a study abroad experience.

The story is pretty focused on the murder mystery intrigue.  It gives a decent view of what it might look like to study abroad and have a homestay.  The aspect of rooming with someone you have nothing in common with except for the experience of being a foreigner ties you together in a way that will not typically happen in a regular dorm experience.  If you’re studying abroad you’ll likely relate to some of the feelings throughout the book, but I don’t particularly think its a huge eye-opener to Argentine life.

The author did a good job of handling the nuances of interpersonal relationships between characters and I think that drove the story forward almost as much as the mystery.  It was entertaining and engaging and I enjoyed the even pace of the story unfolding.