Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.
A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles's crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic....Continua
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