A Novel

Book - 2005
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In the late 1980s, for reasons even she has difficulty pinpointing, fourteen-year-old Lee Fiora leaves her middle-class, close-knit, ribald family in Indiana and enrolls at Ault, an elite co-ed boarding school in Massachusetts. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of, and ultimately a participant in, their rituals and mores, although, as a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider. By the time she's a senior, Lee has found her place at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her hard-won identity within the community is shattered. Lee's experiences, complicated relationships with teachers, intense and sometimes rancorous friendships with other girls, an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush, are both a psychologically astute portrait of one girl's coming-of-age and an embodiment of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.
Publisher: New York : Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005
Edition: 2005 Random House Trade Paperback edition
ISBN: 9780812972351
Branch Call Number: FIC SITTENF 2005
Characteristics: 420 pages ; 21 cm

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Sep 28, 2016

Honestly can't understand how this book received such rave reviews when it did. It is nothing at all like the ones it's been compared to (Catcher in the Rye, etc.) and was so deadly dull I finally gave up on it. Not funny, not engaging, not even particularly interesting and certainly not enlightening. The author's following books are much, much better.

Dec 02, 2014

The main character Lee is intolerable. I kept hoping that things were going to turn around half way through the book, but she only got worse. If you are looking for 'Gossip Girl', but written for adults, this is NOT it.

tealdawg Jun 20, 2013

"Achingly funny"? There is absolutely nothing funny about this book. The protagonist is completely unlikeable, narcissistic and pathetic. If remotely true, her prep school experience explains many of our current politicians, celebreties and captains of industry.

Mar 01, 2013

On my For Later Shelf & Recommended by The Week booklist. Recommended by Benjamin Nugent in The Week magazine.

patienceandfortitude Aug 12, 2011

A fun read. She does a very good job of entering the mind of an adolescent struggling to adjust to a new environment and to peers who come from a different class and culture. The main character is far from perfect, which makes the book that much more believable and touching.

penpencil22 Jun 24, 2011

it was okay. nothing spectacular.


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Jun 22, 2015

"I never dressed nicely for breakfast, but I didn't dress nicely the rest of the time, either" (293).


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