Reese Witherspoon has selected Ella Berman’s Before We Were Innocent as the latest pick for her popular book club.
Berman’s novel, published in April by Berkley, follows two women who are suspected of being involved in the death of their best friend a decade earlier in Greece. While the pair were officially cleared of any wrongdoing, the media continues to speculate that they had something to do with the incident.
Before We Were Innocent is the second novel from Berman, following The Comeback in 2020. A critic for Kirkus called that book “a raw look at the toll that molestation takes on victims.”
Witherspoon announced her selection in a video on Instagram. “It’s almost the end of the year, and we are going to end our book club in 2023 the same way we started it, with a thriller,” she said. (Witherspoon’s January book club pick was Ana Reyes’ The House in the Pines.)
“This compulsive thriller reads like true crime and had me guessing until the very end,” she wrote in the post.
Berman reacted to her novel’s selection for the club on Instagram, writing, “This is the wildest thing and truly a dream come true for any author…I know how many books are published each year that don’t find their way into enough readers’ hands and I feel so incredibly grateful to everyone involved for this boost, particularly right now when life feels both sludgy and dreamlike at the same time.”
Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.