Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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.

- Goodreads.com synopsis 

I stumbled upon A Separate Peace about 5 years ago. I'd never heard of it, and had no idea what it was about, and I absolutely fell in love with this book! I just re-read this book, and I think I might love it more!

This book is told by Gene, and it centers around him and his relationship with his roommate, Phineas and some of the other boys at their all boys prep school. Gene is the complete opposite of Phineas, who is athletic, the life of the party, and no matter where he goes everyone loves him. Or at least Phineas was all those things until he "fell" out of a tree and broke his leg, crippling him. 

Gene feels horrible about Phineas's broken leg, mainly because it's his fault, but Phineas refuses to believe that his friend would betray him or hurt him, and so their relationship becomes this complicated mess of Finny being in denial and Gene, well, just being Gene and going along with it. 

I only have one question about this book and that is whether Finny and Gene are more than just friends? Or are they just in a very serious bromance? Not that it matters either way to me, but I'm still confused as to which side of the line these two young men lean to. Also, I'm really not sure if it would make me interpret the story different if they were gay.

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