“I Have Some Questions For You” is a complex story about the murder of a teenager (Thalia) at a seemingly high end boarding school in 1995. The story is being told 23 years later by Bodie Kane, a graduate of the Boarding School and a roommate of the murdered student.

There is a lot going on in the book. Bodie is now 40 years old, has two children and is separated from her husband. She lives in one part of a duplex and her husband, Jerome, lives in the other half. This living arrangement allows them to share child responsibilities. Jerome is a well-known and successful artist.

Bodie has a tragic family history, having lost both her father and her brother at a young age and ultimately her mother as well. She was raised by a kind Mormon family in Indiana who arranged to send her to the boarding school in New Hampshire, known as Granby. Bodie spent her time at Granby feeling out of place, uncomfortable and inferior. She believed that all of the other students were wealthy and entitled. The extent of her history is disclosed throughout the novel.

Bodie has become a relatively famous podcaster and her friend Fran, who now teaches at Granby, arranges for her to teach a two week seminar on podcasting and film studies at the school. “My podcast at the time was Starlet Fever, a serial history of women in film—the ways the industry chewed them up and spat them out.”

Bodie is obsessed with Thalia’s murder. The school’s athletic trainer, Omar Evans, the only African American at the school, was ultimately convicted of the murder and sent to prison. Bodie is convinced that he is innocent.

Thalia had been very beautiful and had a boyfriend in her class, Robbie. But unknown to almost anyone, Thalia was also having an intimate relationship with one of the teachers, Denny Bloch. The novel is Bodie’s letter to Denny Bloch, explaining all the harm he has caused. Bodie is convinced that Denny Bloch killed Thalia.

The students in her podcasting class decide to take another look at the murder. As a result, a legal rights group gets involved and tries to get Omar a new trial. A number of Bodie’s classmates are called to testify and there are some very interesting interactions among old classmates, where they learn things about each other they did not previously know.

In the meantime, Jerome (Bodie’s husband) has been accused of sexual misconduct based on a relationship he had many years ago with a 21 year old college student when he was 30 years old. Bodie cannot accept the inequity of her husband being accused of improprieties for an adult consensual relationship when Denny Bloch was preying on young girls who were his students. “It was like seeing someone hanged for stealing gum when down the street someone else was robbing a bank.”

The novel touches on society’s differing expectations of women and men, privilege, the MeToo movement, race, wealth and class, the judicial system and a lot of other timely issues. The novel starts out slow but the reader’s patience is rewarded with an interesting story and a lot of things to think about. Rebecca Makkai is definitely an author to watch.

“I Have Some Questions For You” can be reserved at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.