by Susan Choi
Pub Date 2 May 2019
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‘What a wickedly clever, formally inventive book Trust Exercise is. I was blown away by Susan Choi's literary vision, not to mention her sensitivity and wit.’ - Jamie Attenberg
In their first term at a highly competitive performing arts high school, two students, Sarah and David, fall deeply and obsessively in love. Under the care of Mr. Kingsley, their magnetic and manipulative drama instructor, they and their peers exist in a rarefied bubble, where the boundaries between students and teachers become first dangerously blurred, and then completely broken. The outside world of family and class, academic pressure and the future can't affect them-until it does-and they must deal with the ensuing rejection, rebellion, and heartbreak.
Two decades on we learn that what we were told about these teenagers' lives is not completely true, but not completely false, either. The real story is larger and darker than we imagined, and the consequences have lasted a lifetime.
Captivating and brilliant, Trust Exercise is a novel about the treacherous terrain of adolescence, how we define consent, and what we lose, gain, and never get over as we navigate our way into adulthood's mysterious structures of sex and power.
'The writing in this novel is masterful-but the book did something to me emotionally, too. I felt like I was in an obsessive relationship with it. I wanted to read it all the time.' - Meg Wolitzer
'Fiercely intelligent, impeccably written, and observed with searing insight, this novel is destined to be a classic.' - Publishers Weekly starred review
'Trust Exercise is a brilliant and challenging novel, an uncanny evocation of the not-so-distant past that turns into a meditation on the slipperiness of memory and the ethics of storytelling. Susan Choi is a masterful novelist, who understands exactly where we are right now and how we got here.' - Tom Perrotta