A Separate Peace (Paperback)
For the lack of a better way to put this, it is simply rather peaceful (although spoiler alert: a sad ending!). Interestingly, a group of boys preparing to be drafted into the war isn't exactly peaceful but somehow Knowles makes it work. The story of a blossoming relationship that goes awry and begins to harbor some intense jealousy.
-- Josh— From Josh H. Staff Picks
An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to World War II. 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.
About the Author
John Knowles, who died in 2001, was a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University, as well as a recipient of the William Faulkner Award and the Rosenthal Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
I think it is the best-written, best-designed, and most moving novel I have read in many years. Beginning with a tiny incident among ordinary boys, it ends by being as deep and as big as evil itself.
A model of restraint, deeply felt and beautifully written.
Mr. Knowles has something to say about youth and war that few contemporary novelists have attempted to say and none has said better.