I read this book maybe a week ago and it became my new favorite book. Even though I couldn't stand the anticipation and went to SparkNotes to find out how it ended, I still cried when I finished it. Hopefully, I will get to read the companion Peace Breaks Out....Continua
A story of two friends during their last year in a private boarding school in 1942. This was a good story but it didn't really do much to set itself apart from other similar stories.
Gene is an insecure teenager, unable to accept the friendship of a talented, athletic, confident boy, Phineas, as being without dubious intent. The year is 1942 and both boys are students at an elite private boys’ school in New England. They are one year away from being of age to enlist for war. While the seventeen year old seniors engage in physical conditioning in preparation for battle, Gene and his friends enjoy comparative freedom, and they, under Finny’s inventive guidance, take full advantage of it.
These are smart, well behaved boys, respectful and capable. Finny is a star athlete, handsome, optimistic, cautiously reckless but never hurtful or cruel; Gene’s academic success and natural intelligence has him on track to be star of the school. They are equals, admired, respected and full of potential, yet Gene fails to recognise his worth and, in a moment of unthinking selfishness, he sets the stage for tragedy.
This isn’t a novel about regret, or guilt, or tragedy (though it is all those), it’s about growth, how people shape the lives of others, of how a boy becomes a man in the shadow of war, of how friends shape friends, and how people mature through the influence of others.
Philosophy, psychology and history combine to form the layers of this book, and it would take multiple readings to uncover them all, to reflect, mirror-like, the lessons within the words.
There are very few books I would consider re-reading, that I can say without doubt are capable of changing my view of the world, of my place in it, of life -- that are so powerful, yet subtle, that one reading of them fails to capture all but the most obvious of their nature. This is one. I cannot recommend it highly enough!...Continua