The finishing school : [a novel] / Joanna Goodman.

How far would you go to uncover the truth? One spring night in 1998, the beautiful Cressida Strauss plunges from a fourth-floor balcony at the Lycée Internationale Suisse with catastrophic consequences. Loath to draw negative publicity to the school, a bastion of European wealth and glamor, officia...

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Main Author: Goodman, Joanna, 1969-
Published: New York, NY : Harper, c2017.
Edition: 1st ed.
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Review by Booklist Review

As a successful novelist, Kersti Kuusk appears to have it all, but feelings of inadequacy have haunted her entire life. Back when she was reluctantly enrolled at a prestigious boarding school, Kersti's working-class upbringing contrasted starkly with the lives of her privileged classmates. Destined to be an outsider, she instead is taken under the wing of popular, beautiful, worldly Cressida, who's hiding a devastating secret. Twenty years after leaving school, Kersti receives a mysterious letter from a classmate, stirring memories of Cressida's suspicious fall from her balcony. Kersti decides to escape her current shortcomings and search for answers. Spanning between her childhood memories and Kersti's present day, Goodman's fourth novel craftily depicts a mystery hidden for decades under the veil of boarding-school tradition and secret societies. Through the lens of Kersti's research, Goodman unravels a web of lies intertwining the well-developed characters that cross Kersti's path. Each discovery draws Kersti and the reader in a different direction until she finally learns the truth about the school, Cressida, and, ultimately, herself.--Norstedt, Melissa Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

On the surface Kersti Kuusk is doing well, making a living as a novelist and living in Toronto with her husband, Jay. Beyond her successful facade, she's in her mid-30s, struggling with infertility, and trying to cope with long-held insecurities. Plus she's still haunted by her best friend's mysterious fall from a fourth-floor balcony at their prestigious Swiss boarding school years ago. Then a letter arrives inviting her to speak at the school's 100th anniversary celebration, followed by a letter from her dying former schoolmate Lille, which questions Cressida's "accidental" fall. The letters catapult Kersti on a quest to track down her classmates and teachers who might be more forthcoming after all these years. As she digs deeper, everything indicates that the ledgers of the Helvetian Society, a secret but long-banned club at the school, hold the answers. The shocking truths that Kersti eventually uncovers lead her to a dangerous confrontation and some devastating realizations. -VERDICT Goodman's (You Made Me Love You; -Harmony) novel alternates between the present and the 1990s, giving it the feel of both a coming-of-age-story and a literary mystery but ultimately culminating in an addictive read full of skillfully conveyed characters. [See Prepub Alert, 10/31/16.]-Melissa DeWild, BookOps, New York P.L. © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.