Stephen Dobyns Boy in the Water: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780142181829

Boy in the Water: A Novel

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9780142181829: Boy in the Water: A Novel

Another bucolic fall in northern New Hampshire, and the semester is under way at Bishop’s Hill Academy. But this year the start of school has been less than tranquil. The new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, has liberal ideas that the staff find far from welcome; eloquent as he is on the subject of honor, rumor has it he’s taken this job to escape his past. And Hawthorne isn’t the only uneasy newcomer. There’s Jessica Weaver, a stripper at fifteen, and Frank LeBrun, a replacement cook who’s a bit too quick with a dirty joke. All three have secrets to conceal, memories to suppress.
           
Serene on the surface, the ivy-clad, tree-lined campus gives few clues to the school’s history of special privileges, petty corruptions, and hidden allegiances. And as winter closes in, students, teachers, and staff get an education in savagery and murder. With his uncanny awareness of the intricacies of human nature, the acclaimed author of The Church of Dead Girls once again probes the daily life of an ordinary community to reveal the depths of good and evil.

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Review:

Although not as complex or as haunting as his 1997 novel Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns has produced a first-rate psychological thriller with Boy in the Water.

Bishop's Hill Academy in rural New Hampshire is a school in crisis. Once a highly regarded preparatory school for the rich and elite, it is now a dumping ground for troubled teens. The teachers are unqualified, unenthusiastic, and spend more time hitting the students than educating them. A new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, enters the chaotic scene, but is immediately outcast from the tight-knit faculty. Hawthorne is obsessed with the idea of turning the school around--and we soon find out why. His family died in a fire purportedly set by a disturbed teenager back in San Diego. Mentally and physically scarred, Hawthorne sees Bishop's Hill as an opportunity to get back to "physical reality," and save some adolescent psyches. But it is his own mental state that is soon put to the test as he becomes the nucleus of a hate campaign and is forced to relive the terrible memories of the fire.

It seems that everyone in the school has a secret to hide--from the cook Frank LeBrun who enjoys placing sharp tacks in his recipes to Chip Campbell, a history teacher who has taken one too many liberties with the school's funds.

Dobyns paints a foreboding landscape of dilapidated buildings and neglected children--a place where a 15-year-old girl plots to kill her father, a place where teachers abuse students, a place where a young boy is found dead in a swimming pool. As a snowstorm cuts off the isolated community, the exiled headmaster is forced into a final showdown with the school's omnipotent evil.

Boy in the Water is an entertaining but ultimately disturbing read. --Naomi Gesinger

About the Author:

Stephen Dobyns is the author of more than thirty novels and poetry collections, including The Church of Dead Girls, Cold Dog Soup, Cemetery Nights, and The Burn Palace. Among his many honors are a Melville Cane Award, Pushcart Prizes, a National Poetry Series prize, and three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. His novels have been translated into twenty languages, and his poetry has appeared in the Best American Poems anthology. Dobyns teaches creative writing at Warren Wilson College and has taught at the University of Iowa, Sarah Lawrence College, and Syracuse University.

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Book Description Blue Rider Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Another bucolic fall in northern New Hampshire, and the semester is under way at Bishop s Hill Academy. But this year the start of school has been less than tranquil. The new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, has liberal ideas that the staff find far from welcome; eloquent as he is on the subject of honor, rumor has it he s taken this job to escape his past. And Hawthorne isn t the only uneasy newcomer. There s Jessica Weaver, a stripper at fifteen, and Frank LeBrun, a replacement cook who s a bit too quick with a dirty joke. All three have secrets to conceal, memories to suppress. Serene on the surface, the ivy-clad, tree-lined campus gives few clues to the school s history of special privileges, petty corruptions, and hidden allegiances. And as winter closes in, students, teachers, and staff get an education in savagery and murder. With his uncanny awareness of the intricacies of human nature, the acclaimed author of The Church of Dead Girls once again probes the daily life of an ordinary community to reveal the depths of good and evil. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142181829

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Book Description Blue Rider Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Another bucolic fall in northern New Hampshire, and the semester is under way at Bishop s Hill Academy. But this year the start of school has been less than tranquil. The new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, has liberal ideas that the staff find far from welcome; eloquent as he is on the subject of honor, rumor has it he s taken this job to escape his past. And Hawthorne isn t the only uneasy newcomer. There s Jessica Weaver, a stripper at fifteen, and Frank LeBrun, a replacement cook who s a bit too quick with a dirty joke. All three have secrets to conceal, memories to suppress. Serene on the surface, the ivy-clad, tree-lined campus gives few clues to the school s history of special privileges, petty corruptions, and hidden allegiances. And as winter closes in, students, teachers, and staff get an education in savagery and murder. With his uncanny awareness of the intricacies of human nature, the acclaimed author of The Church of Dead Girls once again probes the daily life of an ordinary community to reveal the depths of good and evil. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142181829

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Book Description Blue Rider Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Another bucolic fall in northern New Hampshire, and the semester is under way at Bishop s Hill Academy. But this year the start of school has been less than tranquil. The new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, has liberal ideas that the staff find far from welcome; eloquent as he is on the subject of honor, rumor has it he s taken this job to escape his past. And Hawthorne isn t the only uneasy newcomer. There s Jessica Weaver, a stripper at fifteen, and Frank LeBrun, a replacement cook who s a bit too quick with a dirty joke. All three have secrets to conceal, memories to suppress. Serene on the surface, the ivy-clad, tree-lined campus gives few clues to the school s history of special privileges, petty corruptions, and hidden allegiances. And as winter closes in, students, teachers, and staff get an education in savagery and murder. With his uncanny awareness of the intricacies of human nature, the acclaimed author of The Church of Dead Girls once again probes the daily life of an ordinary community to reveal the depths of good and evil. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780142181829

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