Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Currently Reading: A Starboard Sea

I do not think anyone around here is shocked that I love to read. Being a History major, I typically read a book a week and had a waiting list for my personal summer list. When I moved to New England, I wanted to immerse myself in the literature of the area. Therefore, I started with novels about prep/boarding schools. I went to the top private girls school in Kentucky that was formerly a boarding school, but ceased to board as the urban sprawl surrounded the school and faster means of transportation did not justify the expense of boarding anymore. Boarding schools are not a popular means of education in the South because local private schools excel. As I have read Catcher in the Rye and Prep before, I recently read A Starboard Sea looking for something missing from the two novels about how teenagers react to their privileged upbringing when tragedy occurs.

Anyway, I started reading books about boarding to see if my private school experience was close to the boarding school experience. Most people from the South form their opinion on "preppiness" and boarding schools from Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, yet there are other numerous books in this coming-of-age genre. I did not read Catcher in the Rye in high school, but I read it in my year after college when I knew I was moving to Massachusetts along with the novel Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. When I went to Nantucket for my first wedding anniversary, my husband and I walked into the local bookstore where I picked up A Starboard Sea. In a completely shallow confession, the cover of the book drew me in. I have a certain affection for rugby uniform shirts. 

The main character Jason Prosper recently went through a personal tragedy involving the death of his best friend and sailing partner Cal before transferring to Bellingham Academy for his senior year. Jason used his time at Bellingham to reflect on his friendship with Cal while forming a close bond with another outsider Aidan. From here, I leave you to read the novel...help Jason make sense of all his own secrets and the secrets of the privileged boarders of Bellingham. This novel explores the complexity of the teenage years through the development of adolescent relationships and what they mean or not mean to both parties in that relationship. I suggest this novel for seniors in high school as many of them will be moving on to open a new chapter in their lives in college. This novel will help one to reflect on your life, successes, and tragedies and try to make some sort of sense of all of it.

RIP Summer 2013.

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