Sunday, April 29, 2012

'The Year of the Gadfly'

We live in a world rich in stories.  Sometimes, we live them.  Sometimes, we imagine them.  With such a plethora of adventures in our paths, there are many who pay attention and have lived to tell the tale.  I honor those people; the writers who have the courage to put those stories out for us to see are in a class of their own.

Especially those who write about academia.  

And so it goes with the new novel, 'The Year of the Gadfly', by Jennifer Miller.  I'm sure that comparisons to 'The Secret History' and 'The Starboard Sea' will be made.  But Ms. Miller's novel, while full of mystery, intrigue, teenage angst, and unrequited love, is extremely original.  Her main character, Iris, a fledgling reporter, is the force that drives the story to it's ultimate conclusion.

'...Gadfly' is a story to which most of us can relate; belonging, ridicule, exclusion, cliques, secret societies, revenge.  But Ms. Miller goes a step beyond with her well-told tale.  

Iris Dupont is a new student at the storied Mariana Academy.  A budding journalist with an obsession with the reporter, Edward R. Murrow, she is carrying tragic baggage.  When she tries to break into the ranks of the Devil's Advocate, the underground newspaper published by Prisom's Party (named after the school's founder), the school's secret society determined to expose lies, she is confronted with a vast conspiracy of blackmail, rumors, and a sordid past, which includes her science teacher, Mr. Kaplan, and an albino student, Lily, a girl who left school abruptly, never to return.

The mystery, and how it is solved, drives this story to an ending that left me begging for more.

Teenage angst has never been more interesting.

1 comment:

Passionate Bookworm said...

I'm not usually a huge fan of mysteries.. but you give this one such praise I may have to check it out! plus. Love the simplicity of the cover! gorgeous!