At the beginning of his junior year at a boys' boarding school, 16-year-old Alex is devastated when he fails to save a drowning friend. When questioned, Alex and his friend Glenn, who was also at the river, begin weaving their web of lies. Plagued by guilt, Alex takes refuge in the library, telling his tale in a journal he hides behind Moby-Dick. Caught in the web with Alex and Glenn is their English teacher, Miss Dovecott, fresh out of Princeton, who suspects there's more to what happened at the river when she perceives guilt in Alex's writing for class. She also sees poetic talent in Alex, which she encourages. As Alex responds to her attention, he discovers his true voice, one that goes against the boarding school bravado that Glenn embraces. When Glenn becomes convinced that Miss Dovecott is out to get them, Alex must choose between them.
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A game of Rock, Paper, Scissors that ends in Trouble.
This story takes place at an all boys boarding school in the 80's and reminded me of the Robin Williams movie, "Dead Poet's Society". Alex, a 16 year old junior, goes out to the woods with his friends, Glenn and Thomas one afternoon to blow off steam. They decide to jump off a rock when something goes horribly wrong and Thomas ends up dead. In their panic to save their friend, they don't notice when their English teacher, Miss Dovecott shows up. She knows more than she's letting on but the boys don't how much she knows.
When Miss Dovecott begins to show special attention to Alex's poetry in class, he revels in it while Glenn's paranoia grows. Glenn devises a plan to flush out what their teacher knows but Alex isn't sure he wants to go through with it. He's torn between his feelings for Miss Dovecott and his allegiance to Glenn.
The plot thickens when Alex uncovers secrets about his friends and recalls what Thomas' last words to him were before jumping off the rock. Who can he really trust? Whose really on his side? Miss Dovecott? Glenn? He'll have to make his next move knowing it will affect everyone, including Thomas. Will he be strong enough to make the right one? Or will this turn out more like a game of "Sorry"?
I can't say that I loved this book but it was definitely interesting. Even though this story is set back in the 80's, Alex's struggle to make the right choices are certainly relevant to today.
I did enjoy Hubbard's writing style which is both poetic and complex. She uses the story of Moby-Dick as a metaphor for Alex's situation and if you've never read it, or haven't read it in a few years, you may find yourself trying to recall more intricate details and how closely Ishmael and Alex relate.