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Bright Young Women cover art

Bright Young Women

By: Jessica Knoll
Narrated by: Chris Henry Coffey,Corey Brill,Imani Jade Powers,Sutton Foster
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Publisher's Summary

January 1978. Tallahassee. When sorority president Pamela Schumacher is startled awake at 3 a.m. by a strange sound, she’s shocked to encounter a scene of implausible violence – two of her friends dead and two others, maimed. Thrust into a terrifying mystery, Pamela becomes entangled in a crime that captivates public interest for more than four decades . . .

On the other side of the country, Tina Cannon has found peace in Seattle after years of hardship. When Ruth, her best friend, goes missing from Lake Sammamish State Park in broad daylight, surrounded by thousands of beachgoers on a beautiful summer day, Tina devotes herself to finding out what happened to her.

When Tina hears about the tragedy in Tallahassee, she suspects the same man the papers refer to is responsible. Determined to make him answer for what he did to Ruth, she travels to Florida on a collision course with Pamela – and one last impending tragedy.

From the author of the New York Times bestseller and #1 Netflix movie Luckiest Girl Alive comes Jessica Knoll's extraordinary novel inspired by the real-life sorority targeted by America's first celebrity serial killer in his final murderous spree.

©2023 Jessica Knoll (P)2023 Simon and Schuster Audio

Critic Reviews

Bright Young Women is a fearless and intoxicating ride into the aftershocks of a series of brutal murders. Knoll explores in vivid, pointillist prose the effects on the ‘bright young women’ of the title, both the victims snuffed out in their glorious prime, and those left behind in their wake. It's a compelling, almost hypnotic read and I loved it with a passion. (Lisa Jewell, Bestselling author of None of This is True)
Knoll sets about dismantling every last Bundy myth with a controlled but palpable rage. I already loved how she writes, but this book is extraordinary. Genuinely can't rememebr the last time a novel moved me so much. Don't miss it. (Catherine Ryan-Howard, author of Run Time)
[A] huge summer read . . . one of those great stories that you can't put down! (Reese Witherspoon, InStyle on Luckiest Girl Alive)

What listeners say about Bright Young Women

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fffŭćƙ bundy

hacks up the bullshit mythology of a pathetic misogynist and rightly centres the women who brought him down.

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fantastic!

loved it, couldn't stop myself from continuing on till the end. it's dark but beautiful and tells the side of this story that has often been omitted.

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One of the best books I’ve ever read.

Consumed in a day and had me in tears. Wow wow wow. Won’t be getting over this anytime soon.

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Outstanding

An outstanding story finally bringing light to those who lost their lives. Probably my favourite text of 2023.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not amazing but not awful

A focus on the victims rather than the actual serial killer, interesting, felt a bit long and repetitive in places.

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Neither ditch-worthy nor compelling.

Clever, descriptive language in part but the narrative didn’t grab me. The murderer himself is more interesting but we know his story inside out.

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  • mitchell bell
  • 26-01-2024

Voice well worth hearing

Interesting insight and liberating to give female in this a voice. They are often silent but this way is effective. Bit hard at points as it jumps back and forward with quite a lot of people but quick read

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  • Scott
  • 25-01-2024

We need more books like these!

We tend to focus on killers but forget the victims. I know that this is a fictionalised version of events but really felt enlightening.

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  • Peter Jones
  • 19-01-2024

Unpopular opinion

I’ll start with the positive- Jessica Knolls writing is really good.
However, the story itself just isn’t great. I think it would have been better is Jessica had chosen to write about a fictional serial killer rather than Ted Bundy. The story makes it seem as if the women are actual victims and I think a lot of people reading this book will think the same; however, they are all fictional characters which just doesn’t sit right with me.
I also really didn’t like the performance of this audiobook. I wish I had read the physical copy in the first instance but I still don’t think it would have made me score this book any higher than a 2 star.

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  • T Squires
  • 11-01-2024

Outstanding

I devoured this book in one sitting. it is brilliant. It's sad and uplifting at the same time.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-01-2024

outstanding!

please listen, such a great novel, that really makes you think about true crime and the portrayal of all involved. Highly recommend x

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  • Laurac
  • 17-12-2023

The story we all need know

TBH the story of the defendant in this story has always nauseated me. This is the story we should all care about. It was told so well, the beautiful details of the young women’s relationships with those they were closest to will stay with me for a very long time.

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  • Jo Danan
  • 31-10-2023

Listen to this…

I started this with no clue or understanding that it’s a story written within a factual timeline. To listen to a crime book with such a great lean towards the victims and survivors, loved ones and friends was brilliant. Belittling the killer and the myths. Superbly written and up there with best book Iv heard in a while. 5/5 from me.

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  • Espedair
  • 22-10-2023

Powerful and moving

An insightful retelling of a famous story from a different angle which, really hooked me in. This book really made me consider my previous listening to true crime in a new way which, I am thankful for.

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  • Will Blair
  • 21-10-2023

Gripping story, easy listening performance

Very good performances from the 2 main voice actors for the main 2 characters meant I was pulled into the story immediately. A couple of "oh damn" moments towards the end meant this was an excellent listen!

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  • Pamela R
  • 04-10-2023

A refreshing and moving take on a well-known story

A really enjoyable listen. The narrators were very good and the switching between Pamela and Ruth’s stories worked well.

I found the characters believable and the story very moving. It is refreshing to hear a version of this well-known story that is told from the women’s POV, instead of trying to get into the mind of “The Defendant”.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.