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The Starboard Sea



Awards: New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year

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About The Author

Amber DermontAmber Dermont

AMBER DERMONT received her MFA in fiction from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Dave Eggers’s Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005, Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope:... More

photo: T.W. Meyer

Awards

New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year

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Reading Group Gold

Jason Prosper grew up in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old boy prep schools and exclusive sailing clubs. A smart, athletic teenager, Jason maintains a healthy, humorous disdain for the trappings of affluence, preferring to spend afternoons sailing with Cal, his best friend and boarding school roommate. When Cal commits suicide during his junior year at Kensington Prep, Jason is devastated by the loss and transfers to Bellingham Academy. There, he meets Aidan, a fellow student with her own troubled past. They embark on a tender, awkward, deeply emotional relationship, until a major hurricane hits the New England coast and Aidan’s battered body is found on the beach in its aftermath. School officials rule her death a suicide, and Jason is horrified to draw the parallels between Aidan and Cal. He gradually realizes that Aidan’s death was neither suicide nor accident, and is determined to uncover the terrible secret that has been buried by the boys he considers his friends.

Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, The Starboard Sea is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and compelling novel about a young man navigating the depths of his emotional life, finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love.


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