The startling coming-of-age novel by the Sunday Times bestselling author of AMERICAN WIFE
Orange Prize shortlisted first novel by the phenomenal word-of-mouth bestselling author of American Wife, now republished in Black Swan
A stunning novel in the great tradition of American coming-of-age novels from Catcher in the Rye to The Secret History.
Lee Fiora is a shy fourteen-year-old when she leaves small-town Indiana for a scholarship at Ault, an exclusive boarding school in Massachusetts. Her head is filled with images from the school brochure of handsome boys in sweaters leaning against old brick buildings, girls running with lacrosse sticks across pristine athletics fields, everyone singing hymns in chapel. But as she soon learns, Ault is a minefield of unstated rules and incomprehensible social rituals, and Lee must work hard to find - and maintain - her place in the pecking order.
“The OC meets Donna Tartt's The Secret History with flashes of Clueless... Sittenfeld's strength is in making the experience feel universal...Everyone will wince with recognition at the horror of being a teenager. It's great to relive it all, now that it is happening to someone else.”
“Straightforward, serious, funny...There is so much that is right about this book. Sittenfeld captures the hothouse atmosphere of boarding-school, the way you see even people you don't like in their underwear...Mostly, however, it's Lee's voice that makes all this worthwhile.”
London Review of Books
“Curtis Sittenfeld shares with Salinger a knack of capturing, in effortless prose, a teenager mindset...It feels important...Most vitally of all, it feels like adolescence.”
“You don't have to have attended an elite Massachusetts boarding school to find yourself reliving your adolescence in Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep...Even the Cross Sugarmans (major crush) and Aspeth Montgomerys (long legs, super popular) of this world will cringe with recognition at the book's fine-knit accuracy and detail.”
“Sweet Valley High as written by George Eliot. Sittenfeld is a pin-sharp observer, and in Prep she needles away at class, race and character...Prep will appeal to any age...A highly accomplished novel.”
Independent on Sunday
“A highly accomplished novel”
Independent on Sunday
“Fresh and vivid...extremely enjoyable”
“Sharp, caustic and brilliantly observed”
“Sittenfeld's humour and sharp observation deliver a coming-of-age novel you can relate to”