FICTION

The Truants

Putnam. Jan. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780525541967. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780525541981. F
COPY ISBN
DEBUT This first novel opens as main character Jess chooses her college in East Anglia owing to her obsession with literature professor Lorna Clay, who wrote the blockbuster book The Truants, arguing that artists must break societal rules to foster their creativity. During her first term, Jess enrolls in Lorna’s seminar about Agatha Christie and is encouraged to explore the meaning behind Christie’s mysterious 11-day disappearance. (The Christie angle adds a unique twist but feels a bit contrived.) Jess is equally captivated by her reckless friend Georgie and irresistibly drawn toward Georgie’s dangerous boyfriend Alec, despite her involvement with the nice but unexciting Nick. Will Jess follow Lorna’s advice and risk everything to follow her heart? And are any of the people Jess admires really what they seem?
VERDICT Though the outlines of the story are familiar, Jess is eminently sympathetic and likable, and Weinberg skillfully depicts the headiness of the transition to college life. The ending feels needlessly protracted, however, as Jess spends several years during and after college (and following what should be the climax of the novel) attempting to solve the mystery of what happened her first year. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/19.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.