THE WHITE DEVIL by Justin Evans

Kicked out of his last American boarding school for drugs, Andrew Taylor’s father has sent him to England’s Harrow Academy to redo his senior year. It’s his last chance, and Andrew tries hard to follow the rules and not bring attention to himself. But author Justin Evans has other plans for Andrew in The White Devil, his latest thriller/horror novel that sheds light on the bullying and other nastiness that can go on at boarding schools past and present.

October 1, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Horror, Mystery/Suspense, Speculative (Beyond Reality), United Kingdom

YOU DESERVE NOTHING by Alexander Maksik

Part school story, part existentialism primer, YOU DESERVE NOTHING, is a deftly told and absorbing debut. Ostensibly, the story of a troubled teacher who goes too far, YOU DESERVE NOTHING is also a thoughtful examination of moral education, of the ways in which we learn to navigate the minefield between duty and freedom, courage and cowardice, the self and the persona.

September 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Character Driven, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Literary

FALL by Colin McAdam

I’d seen FALL described as a “literary whodunit,” and was looking forward to some good sleuthing. It’s not quite like that. Mystery is involved, but plot and intrigue are entirely secondary to the study of adolescent development.

The two main narrative voices are Noel and Julius, both students at St Edbury’s – a Canadian high school for the children of the wealthy. Julius’s narration is an unpunctuated stream of consciousness, immediate and sensory. He’s good-looking, not overly bright and (as the story progresses) increasingly shown to be good-natured.

December 13, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Canada, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author

NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro

NEVER LET ME GO is a magnificent achievement, one that I personally rate above all other Ishiguro novels, because it adds an unexpected and quietly devastating emotional dimension to his already-powerful armory. Although this book has something of the alternative-reality feel of THE UNCONSOLED, it is by no means as difficult to read. It probably beats even THE REMAINS OF THE DAY in the surface lucidity of its narration, and emotions that had been denied or repressed in that earlier novel are here allowed to flower, albeit briefly. Indeed, one strand of this most unusual Bildungsroman is a love story, simple, true, and almost traditional, though denied the traditional happy-ever-after ending.

September 13, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Alternate History, Literary, Scifi, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

THE VERA WRIGHT TRILOGY by Elizabeth Jolley

Although she wrote all her life,Elizabeth Jolley didn’t get her first book published until she was 53. Thereafter she published 15 novels, four story collections and four non-fiction books. The daughter of an Austrian mother and English father and a transplant to Australia from England, she became one of Australia’s most celebrated authors and won at least 16 awards. Yet by the time of her death in 2007, her books were out of print.

June 13, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Australia, Classic, United Kingdom, World Lit, y Award Winning Author