The Human Season

Sarah Rossiter, Author Little Brown and Company $0 (276p) ISBN 978-0-316-75759-1
The idyllic campus of the Dunster Prep School provides the background for the tragic suicide of Cate Manning, the 22-year-old wife of Oliver Manning, 55, a highly respected English professor next in line for headmaster. Although the inquest leaves little doubt that Cate, found to have been pregnant, took her own life, her death sets off an explosive series of recriminations, accusations and confessions. A blackmail attempt is directed at Peter Spaulding, 18 and senior prefect, who had been having an affair with Cate and had once had a homosexual liaison with her husband. Peter, devastated by Cate's death, accuses Oliver of murder; he is encouraged to make the charge by Melissa MacQuire, wife of the school coach, who has had affairs with both Oliver and Cate. It is apparent that the adults are using Peter as a pawn in their devious sexual games, and this realization drives the adolescent to the brink of suicide. This first novel of a young man's painful coming of age takes a sympathetic look at gifted and troubled lives, but the pace is at times grindingly slow and the emotions are sometimes mawkish. (May 5)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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