All Souls

Posted on: 10 July, 08

All Souls by Christine Schutt

The story begins with a father at the hospital bedside of his daughter, Astra.  She has a rare and virulent form of cancer.  As classmates and teachers come to visit, the focus gradually shifts from the sick girl to life at her prestigious prep school.  Though these girls come from extreme wealth and privilege, they are not so different from girls at any high school.

Some facets of teenagers are universal.  They are all trying to find their way into the adult world.  many use an air of bravado to hide the insecurities and confusion lurking just below the surface.  They try on different personalities until they find the right fit.  Sometimes those personalities pinch and hurt like too small shoes.

The characters in this book reminded me of some of my students.  It reminded me to look at things from their point of view.  The teen years are not easy.  Adults have the advantage of experience.  Most of us would not go through adolescence again for all the money in the world.  Well, most teens are not so thrilled about going through it either.


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