The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: A Novel

Open Road Media
8
Free sample

“A perfect book”—and basis for the Maggie Smith film—about a teacher who makes a lasting impression on her female students in the years before World War II (Chicago Tribune).
 “Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life!” So asserts Jean Brodie, a magnetic, dubious, and sometimes comic teacher at the conservative Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh. Brodie selects six favorite pupils to mold—and she doesn’t stop with just their intellectual lives. She has a plan for them all, including how they will live, whom they will love, and what sacrifices they will make to uphold her ideals. When the girls reach adulthood and begin to find their own destinies, Jean Brodie’s indelible imprint is a gift to some, and a curse to others. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is Spark’s masterpiece, a novel that offers one of twentieth-century English literature’s most iconic and complex characters—a woman at once admirable and sinister, benevolent and conniving. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s archive at the National Library of Scotland.  
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Mar 20, 2012
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Pages
140
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ISBN
9781453245033
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A GQ Best Book of the Month • A New York Post Must-Read Book • A Flavorwire Book of the Week • A New York Daily News Can't-Put-Down Novel

“[Parish] has got chops, and a feel for dialogue, and is a talent in the making.” —Bill Buford, The Wall Street Journal 

“Read this book in a beach chair. . . . [A] worldy and propulsive debut.”—GQ

An exhilarating novel of reinvention, friendship, and ambition—from the Jersey Shore to St. Andrews in Scotland

Tom Alison has it all within his reach. He’s smart, handsome, and about to graduate from a prestigious East Coast boarding school. After that it’s off to the Ivy League and then a job on Wall Street, alongside the power brokers he’s been watching from a distance as the working-class son of a single mom. And then the very life his mother worked so hard to escape catches up with him when he gets busted selling drugs.
 
Lucky for Tom, there are places for boys and girls with ruined reputations. First, he returns to his roots on the Jersey Shore, reconnecting with a hard-living crew and cementing a bond with his new friend Clare Savage—the son of a recently disgraced financier. The two boys spend their summer surfing and partying. When fall arrives, they head to St. Andrews University in Scotland, a haven for Americans in need of a second chance and a favorite of the British rul­ing class. Tom and Clare escape to Scotland together, but it’s Tom who discovers a world shaped by even more powerful forces of greed and am­bition than the one he left behind. Sucked into a maelstrom of sex, drugs, and status, Tom learns what it takes to break the rules—and how we can be broken by them.
 
Driven by a cast of young men and women living in an age of riotous prosperity, Down the Shore is an unflinching and unforgettable story of youth steeped in excess. Stan Parish has crafted a gripping novel that masterfully captures the lives of fallen financiers and the people they bring down with them—and reminds us that not even an ocean can separate us from our fam­ily, our friends, or our past.
It’s 1989, the Berlin Wall is coming down, and Kate has just graduated from Yale, eager to pursue her dreams as a fledgling painter. When she receives a job offer to work as the assistant to Lydia Schell, a famous American photographer in Paris, she immediately accepts. It’s a chance not only to be at the center of it all, but also to return to France for the first time since she was a lonely nine-year-old girl, sent to the outskirts of Paris to live with cousins while her father was dying.

Kate may speak fluent French, but she arrives at the Schell household in the fashionable Sixth Arrondissement both dazzled and wildly impressionable. She finds herself surrounded by a seductive cast of characters, including the bright, pretentious Schells, with whom she boards, and their assortment of famous friends; Kate’s own flamboyant cousin; a fellow Yalie who seems to have it all figured out; and a bande of independently wealthy young men with royal lineage. As Kate rediscovers Paris and her roots there, while trying to fit into Lydia’s glamorous and complicated family, she begins to question the kindness of the people to whom she is so drawn as well as her own motives for wanting them to love her.

In compelling and sympathetic prose, Hilary Reyl perfectly captures this portrait of a precocious, ambitious young woman struggling to define herself in a vibrant world that spirals out of her control. Lessons in French is at once a love letter to Paris and the story of a young woman finding herself, her moral compass, and, finally, her true family.
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