Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Separate Peace

Written by: John Knowles

First line: I went back to the Devon School not long ago, and found it looking oddly newer than when I was a student there fifteen years before.

Why you should read this book: Like many people, I first read this book in a high school English class, but I decided to reread it after seeing it mentioned a few other places, and it really is a kind of monumental story about adolescence and war. Gene, bookish and serious, and Finny, athletic and irreverent, are roommates and best friends at a New England boarding school during World War II, but the world that seemed so knowable to Gene begins to shift as the war becomes more real to him. In the book, Gene reexamines the events of that year through an adult's eye.

Why you shouldn't read this book: It's a quiet and nuanced story, less about action and more about motivation, and it's full of profound sadness.

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