Finishing School

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Justin Stokes would never forget the summer she turned fourteen, nor the woman who transformed her bleak adolescent life into a wondrous place of brilliant color. In the little pondside hut she called her "finishing school," eccentric, free-spirited Ursula DeVane opened up a world full of magical possibilities for Justin, teaching her valuable lessons of love and loyalty, encouraging her to change, to learn, to grow. But the lessons of the finishing school have their dark side as well, as Justin learns how deep ...
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Overview


Justin Stokes would never forget the summer she turned fourteen, nor the woman who transformed her bleak adolescent life into a wondrous place of brilliant color. In the little pondside hut she called her "finishing school," eccentric, free-spirited Ursula DeVane opened up a world full of magical possibilities for Justin, teaching her valuable lessons of love and loyalty, encouraging her to change, to learn, to grow. But the lessons of the finishing school have their dark side as well, as Justin learns how deep friendship can be shattered by shocking, unforgivable betrayal.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA Female adolescence isn't always characterized by the discovery of boys, rock music or clothes fads. Sometimes the journey from childhood to maturity involves learning that an idol has clay feet. In The Finishing School , Justin Stokes is a grown woman remembering the fateful summer she turned 14, when she changed from child to adult. After the death of her father and grandparents, Justin, her mother and brother move north into the sterile household (spotless rugs covered by plastic runners) of Aunt Mona and her daughter Becky. There Justin meets Ursula DeVane, a former actress in her mid-40s, who treats Justin like an adult, sharing her past history and future dreams and nuturing her in the feeling that Justin is different and special. But Ursula isn't perfect, and the tragic denouement of that summer is almost as inevitable as the infiltration of trailer camps on the DeVane property 30 years later. Godwin is a superb writerher characters breathe, her prose flows seamlessly and she has captured the inner heart of 14-year-old Justin. She is a special girl and this, a special book. Diana Hirsch, PGCMLS, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380698691
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/1986
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 10

Meet the Author

Gail Godwin
Gail Godwin

Gail Godwin is a three-time National Book Award nominee and the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels, including A Mother and Two Daughters, Violet Clay, Father Melancholy’s Daughter, Evensong, The Good Husband, and Evenings at Five. She is also the author of The Making of a Writer: Journals, 1961—1963, the first of two volumes, edited by Rob Neufeld. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant for both fiction and libretto writing, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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