Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy grew up as students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school for special children secluded deep in the English countryside. The school itself was mysterious, with unusual rules and guardians who were constantly reminding their charges just how special they really were. Now, years later as a young woman, Kathy has been reunited with Ruth and Tommy and is looking back on their shared experiences at Hailsham in hopes of better understanding the circumstances that make them so special.
Miss Riki’s Review:
It is going to be very difficult to write a proper review of this wonderful novel, because the beauty in it is really in discovering what it is about as you go. I think it is best for a reader to go into the experience knowing nothing about the novel and simply allow the author to divulge the secrets within at his own pace.
That being said, I can tell you that the book is written in a really offbeat, conversational style, with the narrator breaking the fourth wall throughout, making you feel as though she is telling you this story personally. I’ve read a lot of reviews that really disliked the narration, but for me it really worked. I loved feeling as though Kathy was confiding in me as the reader. The writing all feels so personal and direct in this way.
The story is atmospheric and almost a bit on the gothic side, and raises some important ethical questions if you’re interested in going there. But if you’re not- the narrative stands on its own as a deeply moving and entirely engrossing story. I loved the characters and the style and although I was left with questions at the end, I’m still on board. Sometimes the best novels leave you wanting more, and this book definitely did that for me.
So, without spoiling the twist- I’ll just say that I really enjoyed this book for its creative narrative style, compelling conflict, and wonderful characters. I highly recommend it.