A Separate Peace
John Knowles, 1959
The story follows two adolescent boys in a private New England school who become fast friends—Gene, a shy intellectual, and Finny, a gregarious athlete. Their innocent summer session is marred when Finny falls from a tree, an accident that may or may not have been intentionally caused by Gene.
Gene both adores and resents all that Finny represents, and the love-hate war within himself—played out against the backdrop of World War II—forms the heart of the story. Brinker, a third boy, represents a sort of adult maturity who gradually spurs Gene's own movement toward responsibility and self-awareness.
It's a wonderful book. And even if you read it in high school...it's time to re-read it as an adult. Lots to think and talk about.
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