Book: Naomi Alderman - The lessons By Sandy Cook Friday

By admin
04 February 2011

Physics student James Stieff is struggling miserably through his first term at Oxford when he meets the beautiful Jess, a musician who introduces him to her friends, among them fellow student Mark Winters, gay, fabulously wealthy and with a mysterious troubled past.

He invites the gang to move in with him and they embark on a booze-fuelled life of parties, all funded by him.

While Jess manages to stick to her studies James starts to fall behind as he becomes sucked into Mark’s decadent, damaged world, co-opted by the Catholic priest his mother has employed to keep an eye on him.

Later, when the friends must venture into the real world, they drift apart but Mark, now married, continues to have a profound influence on James. A tragedy brings the plot to its riveting climax.

The Lessons has been widely compared to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. While not as good it’s still a wonderful read.

The lessons by Naomi Alderman

Viking, R178,50

Rating 4/5

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