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In 1960s Manhattan, Arthur MacDougal has been thrown out of his exclusive prep school and sent off to the Spooner School for the disciplinary challenged in rural Connecticut. Just minutes after his parents speed back to the city, he hits it off with the fragile and quirky Katrina Felt, daughter of a famous show biz couple, who immediately recognizes Arthur's latent gayness. Enter Sapphire, Katrina's roommate, a promiscuous but sweet hippy chick; Nicolas, Arthur's roommate, still dealing with his mother's death; and Lenny, the muscular, snaggle-toothed townie who catches Arthur's eye. Novelist-playwright Stuart (24-Karat Kids) sets his fully drawn character loose in a familiar era, but there's nothing quaint or retro about his '60s set; the ubiquitous drugs, the war, the new sense of sexual freedom and the fight against the establishment are pervasive and essential elements. This simple but wholly moving coming-of-age story features a worthy successor to Holden Caulfield coming to grips with what (and who) he cannot change. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.