A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace

3.7 469
by John Knowles
     
 

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Gene was a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas was a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happened between them at school one summer during the early years of World War II is the subject of A Separate Peace. A bestseller for over twenty years, it is a starkly moving parable of the dark forces that brood over the tortured world of adolescence.

Overview

Gene was a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas was a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happened between them at school one summer during the early years of World War II is the subject of A Separate Peace. A bestseller for over twenty years, it is a starkly moving parable of the dark forces that brood over the tortured world of adolescence.

"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."—Aubrey Menen.

"A quietly vital and cleanly written novel that moves, page by page, towards a most interesting target."—Truman Capote.

Editorial Reviews

National Review
A masterpiece.
Observer
A model of restraint, deeply felt and beautifully written.
School Library Journal

The Billionaire's Christmas Baby


By Victoria James, Alethea Spiridon Hopson, Wendy Chen

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2012 Victoria James
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-809-0


CHAPTER 1

"Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas ..."

Hannah pounded the volume button on her car stereo so hard her index finger bent backward painfully. She rubbed her throbbing finger, glaring at the now black display. It was so not going to be a Merry Christmas. The odds were stacked against merry and highly in favor of miserable.

She had lied to her boss, co-workers, and broken some of the cardinal rules in child protective services to be here. While other people were decorating their homes, doing Christmas shopping, and attending holiday parties, she was sitting in a cold car, spying on a man from behind a snowdrift with a sleeping infant in the backseat.

But she'd finally tracked him down, and after three miserable, long weeks, she'd found baby Emily's uncle. Now all she had to do was knock on his door and introduce him to Emily.

Oh, and then convince him to adopt her.

Right. Great plan, Hannah.

If she had any sense of self-preservation she'd throw her car into reverse and hightail it out of Northern Ontario. She would brave the nightmare road conditions over convincing a man who had turned his back on his family for over a decade to drop everything and adopt his niece. But she knew she couldn't do that. Hannah turned in her seat to check on Emily who had been sleeping contentedly in her car seat.

Hannah glanced back at the rustic log cabin in front of her. She had everything rehearsed. She would approach the situation with compassion and honesty. She could do this. She had to do this. Hannah bit her lower lip as she peered through the peephole she'd created in her windshield. Her half-full cup of Starbucks holiday blend, long since abandoned, sat in the cup holder beside an empty baby bottle.

She ducked as she spotted movement in the house. Luckily, she was almost sure that the man hadn't noticed her silver Jetta buried in the snowdrift in the driveway. As soon as she had exited the highway and pulled out onto the back roads she'd felt like a moving snowman on wheels. When she finally found the cabin, located in nowheres-ville, she had drifted down the unplowed drive, saying a silent prayer she wouldn't hit the parked Range Rover.

Gurgling from the backseat jolted her. She had to go in before Emily woke up. It's now or never, Hannah. She turned on the engine one last time, blasting the heat on high before she had to leave the car.

She slipped her lucky red wool knitted hat with its oversized pom-pom onto her head with a decisive tug — she'd need all the luck she could get. She had a good ten minutes before she had to worry about Emily getting cold, but she added a few more layers of blankets onto the baby, who was already bundled in a bunting bag, hat, and mittens. Hannah reached over to the passenger seat, her hands blindly seeking out her purse and mittens, while her eyes stayed riveted on the cabin. She tucked the vintage Santa tin filled with homemade, sparkle-laden sugar cookies under her arm. No one could resist her Christmas cookies.

She hoped Louise's brother, once Christopher James, now Jackson Pierce, was the type of man to appreciate homemade cookies. His name change had added a few extra days to her search, but thanks to her friends at the police department and her own bit of ingenuity, she'd found him at this cabin. There was no trace of Christopher James when child services had looked for him, but Hannah knew the details of his past, and knew this man would want nothing to do with Louise's baby. She'd been pretty shocked by his identity. He was the founder and CEO of one of North America's largest computer software companies.

Hannah opened the door and the wind whipped snow onto her face as she struggled to get out quickly before the cold air infiltrated the car. She stepped into at least three feet of snow and fought the urge to yelp out loud as it made contact with her feet. So much for waterproof boots. Careful not to fall and drop the cookies, she walked as fast as she could, her feet feeling like lead as she reached the front porch. She glanced around the house and confirmed what she'd suspected from the inside of her car — there was no Christmas wreath on the door or Christmas lights. Or anything remotely Christmas- y at all.

It was an omen. A bad one.

She gave herself a mental shake, forcing herself to calm down. Hurry up, Hannah.

She took a deep breath of icy air and knocked. Her thick red mittens made it sound more like the paws of a furry animal thumping on the door ... maybe he couldn't hear the muffled knocking against the sound of the storm. She was about to yank off a mitten when the door swung open. Her hand froze in midair, and the only thought she could process was why oh why did she have to be wearing the hideous red hat?

Jackson Pierce was at least six foot two inches of raw masculinity — the type of man who looked as though he belonged to no one, shared with no one. The kind that would normally make her run in the other direction. His hair was the color of expensive cognac, slightly mussed but clean cut, with eyes a few shades deeper. He was tanned, in that natural, not-from-a-tanning-salon sort of way, with dark stubble across a firm jaw and chin. Jackson was not what she expected.

Definitely built and definitely mouth-watering ... if you were into that sort of look.

And she was not.

He frowned at her. "Are you lost?"

Hannah realized she must look like an idiot standing on his porch not saying a word. She lowered her arm, straightening her shoulders, and tried to project the image of the calm, cool, collected professional she usually was. "No, no. Not really."

In the six-hour car ride and the twenty minutes of stalking in her car outside, she'd had everything rehearsed. She had even practiced her speech in front of Emily and had earned a few enthusiastic gurgles. But now, in front of him, she couldn't bring herself to say the words she'd carefully planned. He raised his eyebrows, bracing his shoulder against the doorjamb. His fitted navy Henley shirt outlined his muscular arms and wide chest. The cold air obviously wasn't bothering him in the least.

"Do you need help?" His voice. Sort of like smooth silk and rough suede. Unfortunately, his carefully enunciated question also implied that he thought she was mentally challenged.

It was now or never. She cleared her throat and was sure to maintain eye contact.

"Are you Christopher James?" she blurted out, deciding to use his real name at the last minute.

His brown brows snapped together. He pushed away from the doorjamb, and stood straight up. Suddenly he looked much more intimidating, and not at all nice.

"Who are you?"

"I'm Hannah Woods. Look, I'm sorry to bother you —" She took a deep breath. "I'm here because of your sister, Louise." Self-preservation was a skill she'd learned early in her life, and right now her instincts were telling her to run in the other direction.

"I don't have a sister."

Hannah cleared her throat. "I'm sorry. I know that —"

He scowled. "What? What do you know?"

"I know that you changed your name and —"

He slammed the door in her face and Hannah was in disbelief. She stood still and stared at the black door. One thing was for sure — Jackson Pierce or Christopher James or whatever his name was, was definitely not a Christmas sugar cookie kind of man. What had she been thinking anyway? That she could shove cookies down the man's throat while having a heart-to-heart about his sister and abandoned niece?

Tears began to blur her vision as she stared at the bare door, the reality of her situation setting it. Emily's temporary foster placement with Mrs. Ford would end soon and after that Hannah would have very little control over what happened to the baby. Hannah had fought vigorously to have the woman be Emily's interim guardian. Mrs. Ford was one of the best foster parents she'd ever come across. Hannah had gone to visit Emily every day after work. Spending time with the baby had become the highlight of her day. Hannah had been able to sleep at night, knowing the baby was in good hands while she searched for her uncle. It was Mrs. Ford's faith in her that allowed Hannah to take Emily to find her uncle without going through the child welfare office. There was no way Hannah's boss would have given her approval.

Hannah clutched the tin tightly to her chest and tried to ignore the lump in her throat that she suspected was due in part to feeling like a moron and in part to desperation. She would not cry. She did not cry. Before the night she'd found Emily, she hadn't cried in years. What was she going to do? The man she had gambled on was nastier than a man that good-looking had any right to be. And to top it all off, she was in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard with a two month old baby and only her car for shelter.

She squinted against the wind, looking at the car. She had to make a move and fast. She pictured little Emily being removed from Mrs. Ford's care. What if they didn't find permanent placement for her? Emily could have years and years of being shuffled around, never having a home of her own. Hannah knew all about that. She wasn't going to let that happen to this baby.

The minute she had picked up that baby outside the church she knew it was for a reason. Louise believed in her. And Louise believed in her brother. There had to be more to this man than what she'd just witnessed. She owed it to Louise. She had to honor Louise's wishes, no matter how miserable of a man Emily's uncle was. She couldn't chicken out now.

Hannah took a deep breath, straightened out her not at all fashionable hat, and knocked on the door again. She didn't know what she was going to say, but Jackson Pierce was not going to get rid of her that easily. Adrenaline and panic intertwined and wove their way through her body as she gave herself a mental pep talk. She wasn't a quitter. Emily needed her.

There was no answer.

She ripped off her mitten and pounded. Hard. But there was still no answer.

Fine. Jackson Pierce thought he was stubborn? Well, he was about to meet his match. She lifted her foot and gave the door a swift, hard kick. Just as she was about to give it another one worthy of a champion soccer player, he whipped open the door. She struggled not to fall backwards as she almost lost her balance. She quickly lowered her foot, composed herself, and forced a smile on her face.

He didn't smile back.

"Look, Mr. Pierce, this is a matter of life or death."

He raised his eyebrows, clearly unimpressed. "Whose death?"

She frowned at him. "It's really a matter of life, actually."

"What's your name again?"

"Hannah, Hannah Woods." She was relieved by his more reasonable tone. The life or death line was always a winner at getting someone to take her seriously.

"Do you realize, Hannah Woods, that you are trespassing on private property?"

Okay, so maybe that line didn't work on Mr. Pierce. She felt her insides twist into a knot as she stared into hostile brown eyes.

She nodded carefully. "Yes, I realize that. I don't usually do this sort of thing, but your sister Louise died ..."

He cursed loudly. "And let me guess, she left a pile of bills?"

She shook her head. She was about to explain when he cut her off.

"I don't associate with money-grubbing, junkie friends of my sister. So get your ass off my property and —"

"I'm not a friend of your sister's."

He leaned forward so that his face was a few inches from hers. "I don't care," he hissed. "I don't care if you were a friend of hers or a friend of the frickin' Pope. I. Don't. Care. So get the hell off my property."

He stepped back and this time he slammed the door so violently that she actually shuddered. It took her a few seconds to process what had happened.

Jackson Pierce was a jerk.

In all her imaginings about how this was going to unfold, him yelling at her and slamming a door in her face, twice, wasn't what she'd envisioned. She'd thought he'd at least hear her out. But he hadn't even given her a chance to tell him about Emily. She knew deep down, under that nasty temper, there had to be a good man. Louise had told her all about him, what a good brother he'd been. But that had been a long time ago, and Louise had made so many mistakes. He had obviously never forgiven her. When he hadn't been at the funeral Hannah assumed it was because he didn't know she had died. But now, after witnessing his palpable anger toward anything Louise, she wondered if he just hadn't cared to show up. So where did that leave Emily?

Hannah stood unmoving on the porch, the harsh wind hammering snow and ice up and down her body as though it too were taking a turn at trying to knock her down. Her car was already buried under the snow and must have lost most of its heat. She wasn't a quitter, but it was obviously time to think of a Plan B. She needed to get moving. But where the heck were they going to go at eight o'clock at night during a blizzard?

"Merry Christmas, Mr. Pierce," she grumbled to herself, as she carefully climbed down the porch steps, still holding her Santa tin filled with cookies. She could sit in her car and gorge herself on cookies until she came up with a plan. Luckily, she had two cases of baby formula in the trunk.

So much for the lucky hat. Maybe she should rip it off and then stomp on it. She was exhausted and cold and now, thanks to Jackson Pierce, miserable. She trudged through the snow as quickly as the wind and snow would allow, her sights on the car. Emily was going to need to eat again in under an hour, and the last thing she wanted to do was pull over in the middle of nowhere to give her a bottle. Maybe she could try and knock on the door of that charming bungalow at the end of the street — it had been adorned from top to bottom in Christmas decorations and lights. Surely, whoever lived there wouldn't turn a woman and a baby away in a blizzard.

What kind of a jerk would let a woman go out alone during a blizzard anyway?


* * *

What kind of a jackass yells in a woman's face and then lets her drive away in the middle-of-nowhere Northern Ontario, during a blizzard, at night?

Jackson looked out the window at the petite brunette as she tried to brush the snow off the windshield. But every time she did, the wind would blow on even more snow. By the looks of her, one strong gust might carry her away too. Even that grandma hat she was wearing was all white with snow.

He continued to stare out the window, his fists jammed into his jeans pockets. Guilt was ripping a jagged hole through his gut, as he recalled the shocked look in her eyes. He'd been an ass. He rarely lost his cool, and yet, a few minutes ago he stood yelling at this tiny slip of a woman at his front door. Would it be so bad to let this Hannah woman spend the night? How much of a threat could a woman who barely reached the top of his chin with the pom-pom be? He'd find out what she wanted and then make it clear that he had no intention of speaking to anyone about his family. Then tomorrow morning, when the storm was over, she'd leave. Easy. Done.

Jackson shook his head as she disappeared into a giant mound of snow. With a rough sigh, and a few of his favorite curses, he shrugged into his leather, sheepskin lined jacket and flicked on the outdoor lights. One way or another, women were always complicating his life. Even when he was trying to get away from them, they found him.

"Hey!" he called out, approaching her. The snow was past his shins and showed no sign of slowing. He squinted as snow and ice pellets beat into his face and eyes. She either couldn't hear him above the wind or she was purposely ignoring him.

She didn't bother to look at him when he reached her side. She kept brushing off the snow with angry bursts.

A cloud of snow hit him in the face. He wasn't so sure it was an accident.

"Look, you can spend the night here. Leave in the morning when the storm is over."

She paused and went back to fruitlessly wiping off the windshield with one arm, while clutching a round container like a football under her other arm. He spotted a Christmas wreath attached to the front bumper of her car. He tried not to groan out loud at the absurd ornament. He had never actually met anyone who went to the trouble of decorating their car for Christmas. She was working on her side windows, still ignoring him. Stubborn was the last thing he needed right now.

"Well, we both know you can't get anywhere with this weather tonight." He felt the ice pellets drumming against the back of his neck like a bunch of nails. She continued to pay no attention to him. Enough was enough. He walked over and grabbed the scraper from her hand. She glared at him and yanked it back.

"I'm not staying here. You're mentally unbalanced."

"What were you thinking coming here alone, at night? Obviously you intended on staying." He tried to pry the scraper out of her hand again, but it was as though that giant red mitten was super glued to the damn thing.

"Stop being a bully. I didn't think it would take me over six hours to drive up here. I never planned on staying here, I never planned on staying here, so stop flattering yourself. I don't like you. I don't trust you. So leave me alone and let go of my brush!"

She yelled that last part and he let go, his hands up in the air in a surrender motion. He wasn't going to beg her to stay here.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Billionaire's Christmas Baby by Victoria James, Alethea Spiridon Hopson, Wendy Chen. Copyright © 2012 Victoria James. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

From the Publisher
Aubrey Menen 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.

National Review A masterpiece.

The Observer A model of restraint, deeply felt and beautifully written.

Warren Miller Mr. Knowles has something to say about youth and war that few contemporary novelists have attempted to say and none has said better.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553272468
Publisher:
Bantam Books
Publication date:
12/01/1984

Read an Excerpt

Victoria James is a romance writer living near Toronto. She is a mother to two young children, one very disorderly feline, and wife to her very own hero. Victoria attended Queen's University and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She then earned a degree in Interior Design. After the birth of her first child she began pursuing her life-long passion of writing. Her dream of being a published romance author was realized by Entangled in 2012. Victoria is living her dream-staying home with her children and conjuring up happy endings for her characters. Victoria would love to hear from her readers!

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Aubrey Menen 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.

National Review A masterpiece.

The Observer A model of restraint, deeply felt and beautifully written.

Warren Miller Mr. Knowles has something to say about youth and war that few contemporary novelists have attempted to say and none has said better.

Meet 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.

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A Separate Peace (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series) 3.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 469 reviews.
SunnyMay More than 1 year ago
When i first came upon this book was in my AP English class in the 10th grade, with the limited list of books and the library out of the easy read books, I found A Separate Peace. As i showed and told everyone what i was reading they gave me mix reviews, Some said it was too much of a guy book and was deemed boring and not worth the time to read. As i read on, i was captivated by the main character, and his struggle of guilt and jealousy of someone whom he called a best friend. I was angry and yet i found myself relating to the character of Gene. I mean if you had a friend who had qualities that you wished you could possessed, wouldn't you be jealous of that friend? You couldn't stay mad at Gene but you couldn't help but not love Phineas. They were two friends of the opposite side of the spectrum, yet they found a way to be friends. Phineas must have known the jealousy that possessed Gene, and the fault of the accident, yet Phineas, as marvelous as he was, forgave Gene. But it was not just about friendship going through it's rough and uneasy edges but it was about manhood, these boys going to school and figuring what type of men they will become while a war hung over their heads. These boys had their adventures in school, and when it comes to male friendship, its about who you're having the fun with and the strong bond that is created through fears, and understanding of the world. These boys were all shaped and touched by the essence that was Finny, he was their leader so to speak, and he was the one that they looked to for advice and reaction to the everyday commands of life and school.
Lil_Sweet_N_Low More than 1 year ago
Ok...so I had to read this book in high school, like a lot of people did too, most likely. And I hated it. Really. I didn't really even bother to read past the first few chapters. But then we watched the movie in class, and I was suprised! It was good! Really good!!! So that summer, I went back and reread the book...It was AWESOME!!! It really get's at the complexities of growing up and friendship. It has become my favorite book of all time. I try and read it at least once a year! It has some really great messages within it's pages if you are willing to give it a chance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Knowles did an excellent job on A Separate Peace. The way Gene will do anything to be like his friend is very disturbing, and yet it relates to a lot of people...maybe not to the point of death, but a lot of readers can relate to competition among friends. This novela has many important themes to it. It shows that the victims of 'battle' are not always on the front line, and are unseen. I can not think of one bad thing to say about this novel. Instead of making poor reviews, maybe people should actually take the time to analyze and try to understand the book.
scoutster More than 1 year ago
Another summer another assignment but this book was one I did enjoy to read. It is one of those that you can just flow through and you can just enjoy reading (as long as you don't have an assignment). So without that assignment you will enjoy reading this book and you should like to read it and enjoy each of the very well put together characters. So enojoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Seprate peace is an icredbily book you will not be able to but down until you read the very last word.This book is an amazeing jouney beetwen two best freind that are always together. This is my favriot book of all time.I am not some one that loves to read but this just made me one.
2BinEurope More than 1 year ago
Read this book for book club, and it provided fodder for a very lively discussion. Someone even brought Cliff's Notes, which added even more discussion topics! Beautifully written book, characters are well fleshed out and distinctive, the narrative moves right along. The book hinges on an accident that changes the lives of all involved forever, but figuring out what exactly happened during this pivotal event left all of us puzzled. (That's where Cliff's Notes came in handy!) Meaty, but enjoyable.
sammy0chan More than 1 year ago
If my summer reading list didn't require me to do so, I would have never thought to look past the cover of this book. I enjoyed following the characters through their difficulties. The characters in this book have distinct personalities, sometimes with mysterious auras surrounding them. A great wartime novel that not only focuses on the war, but the kids growing up in that time period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! When my English teacher told me we had to read this book for school I was like great, another boring book but I was so surprised to find that with every page I began to love this book more and more. The words just drew me in and I found myself feeling the emotions of those in the book. I was brought to tears at the end but, this is a great book. Truly a classic and I would recommend it for anyone.
BookReviews8 More than 1 year ago
I have always loved to read books; ever since I was old enough to sit on my dad's lap and listen to him talk, as I recall. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, has particularly struck me as great book because it teaches a great life lesson. I can relate myself to both Phineas and Gene personally. I am happy, thoughtful, and intelligent, like Gene, yet goofy, a dare-devil, and a good athlete like Phineas. A Separate Peace is a very good book in my opinion. John Knowles wrote this book to teach the lesson: "you don't know what you have until it's gone." He uses suspense while he foreshadows over many various places in the book to set the tone. A Separate Peace by John Knowles shows great examples of how dramatic it is to be an adolescent. This book is written in first person. Throughout this novel the protagonist, Gene's, feelings of admiration and abhorrence towards his roommate and best friend at the Devon boarding school, Phineas, grows to the point where Gene is too confused to focus on reality. I would recommend this book for those who love suspense.A Separate Peace takes you to a boarding school at Devon, New Hampshire during the summer of 1942. Gene, the main character and the narrator, is smart, cunning and mildly physically active, but not as active as Phineas. Phineas could easily be the best athlete at Devon. One of Phineas's nicknames was Finny. Together they start a Secret Society for those brave enough to jump out of a limb of a tree over a river.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In seventh grade, my mom suggested to me that I read this book as my 'first classic novel'. I didn't think much of it at first, but I must say that I was shocked at how beautiful it was. I hadn't expected a classic set during World War II to be one of my all-time favorite books, but the insight and conversation in this story is like no other. Once I got over the initial boredom at the first chapter, emotion swept through my veins, tied me down and yet released me from my burdens at the same time. This is a must-read for any middle- or high-schooler seeking acceptance or struggling with emotions and pain... a real heart-opener, whatever that may be! :)
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
A Separate Peace by John Knowles The book is set in New Hampshire at The Devon Boarding School. The book is narrated from Gene's Forrester's first person point of view. It opens in 1959 as Gene comes to visit Devon School and reminisces at the tree where he and Phineas started The Suicide Society of The Summer Session. The story immediately flashbacks to the summer of 1942. Phineas (Finny) and Gene are roommates and best friends. Finny is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Because opposites attract they form a very strong bond. Finny comes up with the idea of jumping from a huge tree in the school property into the river. Even though they were surrounded by classmates, only Finny and Gene jump, thus sealing their friendship with The Suicide Society of The Summer Session. As they return to their senior year, Genes resents Finny's adventures and sees them as a threat to his academic excellence. When Elwin (Leper) Lepellier decides to join their club, Gene was studying for a test. Forced to go and jump with their new member, Gene decides to make Finny fall off the tree by jouncing the limb Finny was using to jump. Finny falls and breaks up his leg; all of his athletic abilities are curtailed. Gene tries to confess to Finny, but it is to no avail. Finny is in denial and more determined to be Gene's closest friend. Finny trains Gene to be an athlete in the fictitious 1944 Olympics and Gene helps Finny with his studies. But Leper had witnesses Gene's act of treason toward Finny and he decides to join the army. Unfortunately, Leper can't take it and cracks up. He's discharged under the Section Eight army rules. When Leper returns to Devon, his classmates decide to hold at trial against Gene. This time Finny is really hurt. As he runs out of the assembly, he breaks his leg again. When the school doctor tries to set the leg, Finny just dies. Written in 1959, this books is not only a war novel, but also a classic coming of age piece. Using the metaphor of the friendship between two boys, we see how war can damage human beings. Just like training camp ruined Leper, envy and rancor ruins the friendship between Gene and Phineas. "...whenever you really love something, then it loves you back, in whatever way it has to love." (Gene p. 111) "An operating room is a place where the risks are just more formal than in other places. An operating room and a war." (Dr. Stanpole p. 193) "Why did it have to happen to you boys so soon, here at Devon?" (Dr. Stanpole p. 194) Gene does enlists in the Navy, but: "I never killed anybody and I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before i was ever put on an uniform; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there." (p. 204) "Your war memories will be with you forever, you'll be asked about them a thousand times after the war is over." (Mr. Healy p. 199) Nicely said!
tenebrae_tec More than 1 year ago
Awesome! Must read.
DudeBrah More than 1 year ago
A Seperate Peace has to be one of the best books I have ever read. It made me think a lot about how teenagers act today compared to how Finny and Gene and the rest of the boys would act back during WWII. The story is so touching and it reminds me of my friendships with many of my friends and I feel like I can somehow relate to Gene. Overall, I can tell you that you won't be able to put this book down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a Graduate student and picked this up several weeks ago while looking for a light story to read this summer. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I truly enjoyed this book. While it may not appeal to everyone, the characters and setting truly added depth to this turning of age piece. Although there has been some discussion on the subtle gay overtones, the bond of friendship with the two main characters is what is truly meaningful and can be found in many male/male relationships whether gay or straight. Don¿t let this dissuade anyone from reading the book. It is a great piece of literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read the book A Separate Peace for high school summer reading.To be honest I did'nt enjoy it at all.There was nothing to it and it moved so slow.It is basically about two boys and thier summer at the Devon School during the Summer Session.Some people say to give it time but no matter what this book is off my bookshelf for good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before reading this in English, I first thought it was just another of those books that we had to read and had a 'lets just get it over with' outlook towards it. Instead, it was an insightful and well written story full of imagery and description. A main theme of this story is hiding from the truth, and what happens when false realities fall apart, and also Gene coming to terms with his best friend's death. 'Nothing endures, not a tree, not love, not even a death by violence. Changed, I headed back through the mud. I was drenched anybody could see it was time to come in out of the rain'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was forced to read A Seperate Peace last year in school, and I was apprehensive to allow myself to enjoy this intriguing novel because I've had a long history with boring, required school reading. I was surprised by how realistic the boys' emotions were and I could relate to Gene like I have with no other character before. This is one of my favorite books of all time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this novel for English, and I really enjoyed it. I think every person can find themselves somewhere in the novel. The characters are complex and intriguing. The only thing I did not like about the book was that it contains a lot of cussing.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is ok but could use more of a better plot line. I had to read this book for summer reading this year and it had no good plot line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bbb57 More than 1 year ago
To critique this book as boring would be about as positive as I could be. It is a story about absolutely NOTHING. A boy shakes a limb which causes his friend (supposedly yes or no) to fall and break his leg. This is the whole story. I think Sheldon Cooper may be on to something about Comic Books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago