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The Gifted School: A Novel (Hardcover)
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"Like Big Little Lies with standardized testing, this addictive novel digs hard into the culture of striving parents and anxious children, exploring privilege, competition and the elusiveness of happiness. A deeply pleasurable read." - Meg Wolitzer
Smart and juicy, a compulsively readable novel about a previously happy group of friends and parents that is nearly destroyed by their own competitiveness when an exclusive school for gifted children opens in the community
This deliciously sharp novel captures the relentless ambitions and fears that animate parents and their children in modern America, exploring the conflicts between achievement and potential, talent and privilege.
Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School is a keenly entertaining novel that observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. Seen through the lens of four families who've been a part of one another's lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group's children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate. It's a humorous, keenly observed, timely take on ambitious parents, willful kids, and the pursuit of prestige, no matter the cost.
About the Author
Bruce Holsinger teaches at the University of Virginia and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
"[A] timely and relevant read for the summer." –Oprahmag.com
"An insular epic that questions the notion of meritocracy, the hypocrisy of white liberalism, and the politics that trickle from the adult world down to their children." –The Paris Review
"Addictive, whip-smart, acutely observed and sharply funny, The Gifted School trains its lens on a community where a talented child is a social commodity and asks how far some families might be willing to go in pursuit of status. A delicious read." – Gilly Macmillan, New York Times-bestselling author of What She Knew
"I LOVED THIS NOVEL. Pitch perfect, razor sharp, compulsively readable and rich with delicious detail, this darkly funny satire combines the gimlet-eyed world view of Jonathan Franzen with the propulsive narration of Liane Moriarty. I can’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed a novel as much."— Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times-bestselling author
"[Holsinger’s] subject of parents charging past every ethical restraint in pursuit of crème de la crème education could not be more timely, and the Big Little Lies treatment creates a deliciously repulsive and eerily current page-turner."— Kirkus, starred review
"I was blown away by The Gifted School. A smart, insightful, and engrossing story about how the prospect of getting their children into a school for the gifted causes a group of competitive parents to comport themselves in the most unseemly and ultimately destructive ways. Snapping with tension, this is a book for our times. It will push a lot of buttons for a lot of people." — Shari Lapena, New York Times-bestselling author of The Couple Next Door