Lina is on leave from her job in New York at the FBI in order to clean out her father’s home in Silicon Valley. As though letting go of her father isn’t hard enough, Lina has also recently lost her husband in a freak traffic accident. Still reeling, she and her teenage son Rory must make their way through this strange new town and the high school around which it all seems to revolve. Rory soon starts coming home with reports of the upcoming “Wonder Test,” a general aptitude assessment that appears increasingly inane, and Lina is shaken out of her grief by a sense that something is amiss in Greenfield.
When she discovers that a student disappeared last year and was found weeks later walking on a beach, shaved and traumatized, Lina can’t help but be sucked into an impromptu investigation.
Another kidnapping hits closer to home and reveals a sinister link between the Wonder Test and the rampant wealth of Silicon Valley’s elite. A searing view of a culture that puts the well-being of children at risk for advancement and prestige, and a captivating story of the lengths a mother will go for her son, this is The Wonder Test.
As a fan of this author, I immediately dived into The Wonder Test, imagining the possibilities that lay ahead.
Who wouldn’t be leery of an upscale community with a school focused on testing, sometimes even taking strange actions to ensure that the results would be better than anyone could hope for?
Our first-person narrator shows us her interior world as she tries to sort out the strange events happening in the community. Her history working as an FBI agent prepares her for this very action.
Just as I wondered what would happen next, I was stunned by the darkness of those in charge of the young people in the community. Who is behind the horrific events in this apparently placid suburban world, and what will they do if crossed? I couldn’t wait to find out. 5 stars.