Our next pick for The WD Book Club is Trust Excercise by American author and pulitzer and PEN award finalist Susan Choi, well known for her previous novels My Education, American Woman, A Person of Interest, and The Foreign Student.
In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving ‘Brotherhood of the Arts,’ two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed–or untoyed with–by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley. The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls–until it does, in a … spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down.
The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls–until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true–though it’s not false, either. It takes until the book’s stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place–revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence.
As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, and about friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults.
“Compulsively readable and formally brilliant: this is basically a literary unicorn.” –Lit Hub
“Choi’s voice blends an adolescent’s awe with an adult’s irony. It’s a letter-perfect satire of the special strain of egotism and obsession that can fester in academic settings. (…) [Choi is] a master of emotional pacing: the sudden revelation, the unexpected attack. (…) How cunningly this novel considers the way teenage sexuality is experienced, manipulated, and remembered. (…) The result is a dramatic exploration of the distorting forces of memory, envy, and art. (…) You won’t be disappointed.” –NPR
As always, Book Club members (meaning you just show up) will enjoy a 10% discount on the next book club title and on every item they’ll ask for at the bar during the Book Club meeting.
Let’s meet up and talk Literature.