A tender and unflinching portrait of modern adolescence told through the shifting perspectives of nine female students, All Girls explores what it means to grow up in a place that promises you the world – when the world still isn’t yours for the taking.
An all-girls boarding school in a hilly corner of Connecticut, Atwater is a haven for progressive thinking and feminist intellectuals. The students are smart, driven and worldly; they are also teenagers, learning to find their way. But when they arrive on campus for the start of the Fall term, they’re confronted with startling news: an Atwater alumna has made a troubling allegation of sexual misconduct against an unidentified teacher. As the weeks wear on and the administration’s efforts to manage the ensuing crisis fall short, these extraordinary young women come to realise that the adults in their lives may not be the protectors they previously believed.
All Girls unfolds over the course of one tumultuous academic year and is told from the point of view of a small cast of diverse, interconnected characters as they navigate the social mores of prep school life and the broader, more universal challenges of growing up. The trials of adolescent girlhood are pitched against the backdrop of sexual assault, consent, anxiety and the ways that our culture looks to young women as trendsetters, but otherwise silences their voices and discounts their opinions. The story that emerges is a richly detailed, impeccably layered, and emotionally nuanced depiction of what it means to come of age in a female body today.
‘A sincere and poignant and moving story of a group of teenage girls coming to terms with the world they’ve inherited’ Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones and the Six
An important take on sexuality and #MeToo from the perspective of the young * Library Journal * Incisive, astute . . . Layden succeeds at bringing the effects of an institutional cover-up into sharp relief * Publishers Weekly * Sexual awakening and institutional reckoning intertwine in Emily Layden's rich, kaleidoscopic debut * Elizabeth Ames, author of The Other's Gold * All Girls kept me turning pages * Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists * An engrossing novel from start to finish, with characters who feel as real as your best friends * Carola Lovering, author of Tell Me Lies * A shimmering, intelligent portrait of young women on the cusp of adulthood * Therese Anne Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Z * An exciting, innovative debut from a fresh and assured new voice * Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones and the Six *
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