Friendly Fire: Some Things You Can't Learn at School

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9780007151004: Friendly Fire: Some Things You Can't Learn at School

Youthful beauty, intellectual brilliance, physical passion, tragedy and disgrace are all in this wonderful new Patrick Gale novel as told through the eyes of a 14 year old girl. Sophie is a self-contained,exceptionally bright child who has no known parents and has spent all her life in a children's home.Her life is transformed when she wins a scholarship to Tatham's,a kind of Oxbridge university for teenagers,but this is only the start of an education as much emotional as intellectual. She falls hopelessly in love with Lucas, adored gay son of a wealthy Jewish family and, through him, is drawn into a tangle of betrayed friendship and forbidden passions that ends in tragedy and disgrace. But school is only half the story. Spanning the years 1975 to 1979 the chapters alternate between terms and holidays, between Sophie's dogged pursuit of the glittering prizes and her slow, painful discovery of who she is and where she belongs. Through other people's families, and especially other people's mothers, she learns as much about the mysterious laws of class and love as she learns from her teachers about the Latin and Greek that will prove her passport to security.

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About the Author:

Patrick Gale was born in 1962 on the Isle of Wight. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford and now writes full time.

Review:

Praise for Rough Music: 'What is delightful about Gale's fiction is that it so warmly and convincingly illuminates ordinary lives and interests. His staples are difficult loves, botched careers, tangled family histories -- mainstream stuff, with the offbeat as an extra' Daily Telegraph 'Exerts the unmistakable force of a novelist in the process of discovering a new, strong voice. With this alarming and technically very skilful romance, he is decidedly a man to watch' Mail on Sunday 'Rough Music ! is an astute, sensitive and at times tragically uncomfortable meditation on sex, lies and family!. a fabulously unnerving book! a hugely compelling writer.' Independent on Sunday 'Rough Music, like its predecessors, belongs to a broad canon of works by English rural moralists. Think Austen, Hardy or Murdoch ! His plots -- seemingly effortless, but closely structured -- resemble Iris Murdoch's ! Gripping, elegant and wise, it is Gale's best book to date, and should not be missed.' The Weekend Review, Independent

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