Ravenhill is the story of one fateful day in an American high school in 1997. As told from multiple points of view, the novel unfolds a few hours after an act of violence leaves five people dead and shocks the community.
Leonard, a ninth grade student, has a secret so horrific he hides it beneath his bullying and a tough-guy attitude. Lara, one of Leonard's targets, is trying to show no fear of his persecution but is prepared if Leonard carries through with his threats. S.A.M. Bond is his own superhero with a secret he must guard at all costs. Mr. Hardin, the English teacher, has his own personal demons, including the death of his young daughter. Paul, the custodian and former priest, is fighting alcoholism. All these personal problems, attitudes, and anxieties erupt the day before the winter holiday break.
Without flinching, Ravenhill attempts to answer the question of who might be responsible when a sudden violent act explodes and a quiet town is changed forever.
"This explosive novel is a compelling and disturbing view of the violence and terror and loneliness present in our schools in this age of guns and mayhem, when even the best efforts of good people can't prevent tragedy."--Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong and Eventide, and a finalist for the National Book Award.