When seventeen-year-old Ethan Whitley leaves his home in California for Berkley Academy, a prestigious Massachusetts prep school, he's a blank slate, a shy follower of rules in search of himself. Ethan is given the chance to start over when he is hand-picked by his wealthy, disaffected classmate, Todd Eldon, and a seductive, enigmatic teacher, Hannah McClellan, a free spirit for whom rules were meant to be broken.
Life with Todd and Hannah is a revelation, an invitation to a world of privilege and desire. But looming over these heady evenings is the disturbing mystery of Hannah's fragmented past, one that Ethan longs desperately to understand.
As secrets are revealed, Ethan is pulled deep into the undertow of Hannah's history and Todd's longings. Soon, he learns that every deceit has a price, every lie is an ugly truth, and that those he has come to trust are people he doesn't know at all.
"In the tradition of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, with just the right hint of Tom Brown's Schooldays, Dolby gives us a glimpse into the rarefied world of elite New England boarding schools and manages at the same time to say something new about adolescence, sexuality, and the way art can give us what we need to survive. --Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits
"Dolby puts his own prep school experience to fine use in his second novel. . .beautifully observed." --Publishers Weekly
"A tender and funny novel." --David Ebershoff
- Kensington, January 2009
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