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Heather McGowan
Date Published
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Caitrin Jones, a young American, is sent to an English boarding school after her mother dies of cancer. Thrust into an unfriendly world and ridiculed for her American accent, Caitrin lays bare her thoughts and feelings in a luminous stream-of-consciousness narrative. Memories of Isabelle, the best friend she left behind in Maine, give way to dreams haunted by images of an accidental death she believes they caused before she left for England; newly awakened hopes and desires interweave with the old as she gradually adjusts to her new environment. When she begins a relationship with her chemistry teacher, her language soars to astonishing heights; its painful end brings forth words and images that subtly reflect Caitlin’s deeper understanding of herself and the world. Culminating in a startling revelation, Schooling is a work of great beauty and power, a tour de force of literary artistry, allusion and illusion.