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Book Review: The Gifted School


The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger– Smart and juicy, a compulsively readable novel about a previously happy group of friends and parents that is nearly destroyed by their own competitiveness when an exclusive school for gifted children opens in the community

This deliciously sharp novel captures the relentless ambitions and fears that animate parents and their children in modern America, exploring the conflicts between achievement and potential, talent and privilege.

Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School is a keenly entertaining novel that observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. Seen through the lens of four families who’ve been a part of one another’s lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group’s children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate. It’s a humorous, keenly observed, timely take on ambitious parents, willful kids, and the pursuit of prestige, no matter the cost.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: July 2, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: N/A

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book! Having kids in an academically rigorous school, I really identified with the characters and it made the story very real for me. The plot revolves mainly around 4 families and their desperate need to get their children into the new “Gifted” School. The characters were very real, very well developed, and their stories were all intertwined. The story flowed very well and showed the perspective from all the main characters, which was really imperative to the helping the reader identify with and understand the motives they each had. I really liked that the kids had a voice- reading their perspectives was absolutely one of my favorite things about this book. There are secrets that get revealed- in both small and big ways. There is envy, anger, and a little bit of crazy going on in this community. Mix all those things up and you get one heck of an explosive story! 

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