Separate Peace, A

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.


Reviewed: 2021-07-22
Reviewed: 2021-04-10
Teenaged boys at boarding school. Introverted Gene betrays extroverted Phineas. Phineas maintains his trust in Gene, but Gene betrays him again. It's worth reading but not great
Reviewed: 2020-10-06
I expected it to end like that, in a knot of irony, and one of the friends dead.
Reviewed: 2019-01-05

It is a novel with many layers that could strike a chord with so many different readers. Whether it is Phineas' pink shirt, Leeper's desertion from military service, or Gene's lack of hate for the "enemy" once he does get swept into the carnage of World War II, there is so much here to read and re-read. 

The level of English in this novel gives me pause before recommending it to second language learners, but the value of the story it weaves makes its inclusion necessary. What is wonderful about a library is how it is self-directed learning. The English language learner who embraces the challenge of this book will be bringing their learning to whole other level. 

Biblioteca Inglesa de Fortin 
(English Library of Fortin)
Fortin de las Flores, Veracruz, Mexico

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