Prep

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, 2005 - Boarding schools - 406 pages
76 Reviews
Curtis Sittenfeld's debut novel, Prep, is an insightful, achingly funny coming-of-age story as well as a brilliant dissection of class, race, and gender in a hothouse of adolescent angst and ambition.
Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school's glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristinely mown athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel.
As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of-and, ultimately, a participant in-their rituals and mores. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider and is both drawn to and repelled by other loners. By the time she's a senior, Lee has created a hard-won place for herself at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her carefully crafted identity within the community is shattered.
Ultimately, Lee's experiences-complicated relationships with teachers; intense friendships with other girls; an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush; conflicts with her parents, from whom Lee feels increasingly distant, coalesce into a singular portrait of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - olegalCA - LibraryThing

Wow! What a ride! I thought this was going to be your typical "boarding school" story but it went much deeper. I'm not sure I enjoyed it but it intrigued me intellectually. I'd be interested to read more by this author. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CathrynGrant - LibraryThing

My views on this novel are extremely ambivalent. Ms. Sittenfeld is an excellent writer. Her prose is well-crafted, her characters are complex, and the conflict is gripping. The story of what ... Read full review

Contents

Thieves I
3
All School Rules Are in Effect I
37
Assassin I
66
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Elizabeth Curtis Sittenfeld was born August 23, 1975 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is an American writer. Her titles include: Prep, the tale of a Massachusetts prep school; The Man of My Dreams, a coming-of-age novel and an examination of romantic love; and American Wife, a fictional story loosely based on the life of First Lady Laura Bush. Sittenfeld attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, before transferring to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. At Stanford, she studied Creative Writing. At the time, she was also chosen as one of Glamour magazine's College Women of the Year. She earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.

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