In this suspenseful, provocative novel of friendship, secrets, and deceit, a successful writer returns to her elite Swiss boarding school to get to the bottom of a tragic accident that took place while she was a student twenty years earlier.
How far would you go to uncover the truth?One spring night in 1998 the beautiful Cressida Strauss plunges from a fourth-floor balcony at the Lycée Internationale Suisse with catastrophic consequences. Loath to draw negative publicity to the school, a bastion of European wealth and glamour, officials quickly dismiss the incident as an accident, but questions remain: Was it a suicide attempt? Or was Cressida pushed? It was no secret that she had a selfish streak and had earned as many enemies as allies in her tenure at the school. For her best friend, scholarship student Kersti Kuusk, the lingering questions surrounding Cressida's fall continue to nag long after she leaves the Lycée.Kersti marries and becomes a bestselling writer, but never stops wondering about Cressida's obsession with the Helvetian Society—a secret club banned years before their arrival at the school—and a pair of its members who were expelled. When Kersti is invited as a guest to the Lycée's 100th Anniversary, she begins probing the cover-up, unearthing a frightening underbelly of lies and abuse at the prestigious establishment. And in one portentous moment, Kersti makes a decision that will connect her to Cressida forever and raise the stakes dangerously high in her own desire to solve the mystery and redeem her past.An unputdownable read as clever as it is compelling, The Finishing School offers a riveting glimpse into a privileged, rarefied world in which nothing is as it appears.
Joanna Goodman lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Originally from Montreal, she based The Home for Unwanted Girls in part on the story of her mother. She is also the author of The Finishing School.
The Finishing School: A Novel 4 out of 5based on
22 days ago
Boring . Perhaps might appeal to young adult readers . Loved Home For Unwanted Girls . Hard to comprehend that this is the same author .
3 months ago
5 months ago
7 months ago
The ending not what I had hoped for
More than 1 year ago
When Kersti Kuusk gets a letter written by her old school friend, Lille before the young woman died, it brings back memories of their school days. Kersti, Lille, and Cressida were at the Lycée Internationale Suisse together. Now, Lille is dead and Cressida is gone. Kersti has been invited to attend the 100th birthday of the Lycée. While she would like to attend, she cannot help but fear the memories it will bring. But as Kersti has been named one of the 100 women who represent the success of the Lycée in grooming young women to reach their full potential, she feels she should go and accept the honor.
Just before graduation from the Lycée, Cressida fell from a fourth floor balcony. There are so many unanswered questions about how she could have fallen and Kersti is determined to return to the Lycée and get to the bottom of it.
Kersti is a successful author who is currently struggling to get started on her next book. Now age 35, she is married and trying to get pregnant. The treatments she has gone through have been unsuccessful. As her own eggs are not viable, she would like to use a donor egg, but her husband is opposed to it. This has created some strain in their marriage.
The story switches back and forth from the school days to present time. We see that the girls at the boarding school are mostly from very wealthy families and how they form very close relationships. Like teenagers everywhere, they share their secrets about everything. The reader is introduced to the heads of the Lycée and many of the instructors.
This book is like peeling back the layers of an onion as more events come to light and it is not until the very end that we learn some very shocking truths.
I really liked this book and hope many people will read it. It is not just a story about teenage girls, but one with a great mystery.
Copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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