Blog + Instagram Tour: The Question Authority by Rachel Cline

7:00 AM

I knew I had to hop on the blog tour for Rachel Cline's The Question Authority. From the moment I read the synopsis, I KNEW I needed to read it one way or another.

About The Question Authority

• Paperback: 224 pages
• Publisher: Red Hen Press (April 18, 2019)
The Question Authority is a timely and moving novel about what happens when childhood best friends face the damage done by the teacher who molested them both.
Meet Nora Buchbinder—formerly rich and now broke and newly employed at the NYC Education Department. She would be the last woman in Brooklyn to claim #MeToo, but when a work assignment reunites her with her childhood best friend, Beth, she finds herself in a hall of mirrors. Was their eight grade teacher Beth’s lover or her rapist? What should justice look like after so much time has passed? And what, if anything, can Nora do now?
In this powerful and emotionally wrenching story, Nora and Beth’s memories, and those of their classmates, their former teacher, and members of his family are revealed. These memories shed light on the way we manage and absorb unbearable behavior and how one experience can influence a whole life.
The Question Authority tracks Nora’s trajectory from denial to reinvention, self pity to self righteousness and, finally, insight and action. As Nora begins to understand her own personal #Metoo, she faces some difficult revelations about herself and how she has chosen to live her life.
“A gripping, provocative story about bright young girls in thrall to a charismatic teacher, and his haunting impact on their adult lives. The novel adds depth and nuance to our ongoing conversation about #MeToo revelations.”  —Kate Manning, author of My Notorious Life
“Cline compels us to face the most pressing questions that #MeToo raised: how is inequality truly seen, what does justice look like, what good does questioning authority do when the authority is so skilled at dodging questions?” —Matt Caprioli, Red Hook Star-Revue
“So in touch with the present moment that it might have been written last week, so skillful that it couldn’t have been, this prescient novel deserves your attention.” —Martha Southgate, author of Third Girl from the Left

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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The Question Authority by Rachel Cline 
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5-4 stars)
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for participating in the blog tour/my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 

The Question Authority is truly a gem of a novel and perfectly timed with the #METOO movement as it grows. With this era, with these truths coming to light, we've all felt compelled to reevaluate things that have happened in our lives directly or indirectly. Most of us have a story that ties into the movement.

Which is what drew me to it. The Question Authority wasn't what I expected in terms of pacing and story, but that's not a bad thing. In-fact, the entire thing was poignant to a degree that made my skin crawl with reminders of some inappropriate things we've all seen or heard in life. I thought the slow pace of the novel worked to its benefit and really made everything all the more cutting.

There was something about Rachel Cline's prose that felt like the cool brush of something sharp. Just a bit of pressure that is a dull ache but still felt. I can't explain it too intensely. I really enjoyed it for this reason.

I thought the story told raised a lot of interesting questions about our perspective then vs. now. As a teenager, I let a lot of questionable statements and advances pass. Even though I graduated nearly 10 years ago, the movement has raised a lot of voices up to the platforms they deserve and looking back on stuff, you have to think, what happened? Why did this fly?

The Question Authority reads like a cross between a procedural drama and a non-fiction crime novel. It, at times, feels like a confessional too. Which ultimately strengthens its voice, not unlike the movement itself. All of these qualities make it very thought-provoking and utterly compelling.

Overall, I really appreciated what Cline's created with The Question Authority. Seeing the conflict and questions in the past and present for Nora's narration was definitely my favourite part of the novel.  

The Question Authority is well written and thoughtful; just as timely as you've been told--and a damn good read.

About Rachel Cline 

Rachel Cline is the author of the novels What to Keep and My Liar (both from Random House). She has written for the New York Times, New York, More SELF and Tin House and is a produced screen and television writer. She was a screenwriting instructor at University of Souther California and has taught fiction at New York University, Eugene Lang College and Sarah Lawrence College. She has been a resident of Yaddo, a fellow of Sewanee, and a Girls Write Now mentor. She lives in Brooklyn Heights, a few blocks from where she grew up.
Find out more about Rachel at her website.

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Friday, May 24th: Kritters Ramblings

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