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Schooling by Heather McGowan

Schooling (edition 2001)

by Heather McGowan

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213354,782 (3.15)22
Authors:Heather McGowan
Info:Faber and Faber (2001), Paperback
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Fiction, TBR

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Schooling by Heather McGowan


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McGown's style is definitely challenging - the reader must ease into the words before (s)he can ease into the story. The effort is well worth the while, however.

The author leads us into a world of ambiguity where admiration and friendship and where the need to help and protect turn to passion. The shift is subtle but relentless and the reader is always left guessing as to how far things where go, how silent or vocal bystanders will be, how helpless or instigating the characters really are. It's a portrayal of generosity turned weakness and neediness turned cruelty. No one comes out of the story unscathed, reader included. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Dec 8, 2013 |
I applaud Heather McGowan's debut effort Schooling. Most impressed with McGowan's use of stream of consciousness style which adds texture and depth to both narrative and characters.

Schooling is a sophisticated and involved coming of age story of 14 year old Catrine. Catrine is a young girl facing many issues at once. Banished to boarding school, ignored by her father. Young Catrine craves love and attention and gains the attention of her chemistry teacher Mr Gilbert. What begins as an innocent relationship soon turns in to much more with a somewhat shocking ending.

Catrine did not appeal to me at all in the beginning. However, I found myself lost in her thoughts, thanks to McGowan's style. I began to understand her and she subsequently grew on me. Initially she comes across as opportunistic almost calculating, sneaky but really she's a tortured soul, suffering from so much upheaval in her life and most of all a 'secret' gnawing away at her. She's complex but what 14 year old isn't. Her issues add to the storyline and her cat-and-mouse attraction to Mr Gilbert makes for interesting sexual tension. Catrine and Mr Gilbert have a very interesting dynamic which leaves the reader guessing at what will transpire next.

McGowan's style might not appeal to all but it really does add to this narrative. Looking forward to reading more from this bold and innovative author. Surprising this was her first novel, very seasoned writing for a green author. ( )
  Melinda_H | Oct 29, 2013 |
Catrine is sent back from the States to her Dad's old boarding school in the U.K. after the death of her mother. She is very much a fish out of water, by her actions and her accent, and finds a friend in the form of the art-loving chemistry teacher.
The book is written in a very breathy style, half thoughts, interruptions, making it a bit alienating at first and forcing me to slow down and really pay attention. The writing style works, mimicking well the meandering mind of a teenage girl. ( )
  soffitta1 | Dec 14, 2010 |
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Did it grieve me to bring the girl.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375714324, Paperback)

Heather McGowan’s widely praised first novel introduces a literary artist of consummate skill, and a narrative voice of astonishing sensitivity and sensuousness. Tracking every mercurial shift of her character’s consciousness, the result is dreamy, disquieting, and achingly alive.

Schooling is a portrait of an adolescent girl, thirteen-year-old Catrine Evans, who following her mother’s death is uprooted from her home in America to an English boarding school. There she encounters classmates who sniff glue and engage in arson and instructors who make merciless fun of her accent. She also finds the sympathetic chemistry teacher Mr. Gilbert, who offers Catrine the friendship she so desperately wants–a friendship that gradually takes on sinister and obsessive overtones.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:45 -0400)

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