The Year of the Gadfly

The Year of the Gadfly

A Novel

Book - 2012
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"Do you know what it took for Socrates' enemies to make him stop pursuing the truth?"
"Hemlock."

Storied, fiercely competitive Mariana Academy was founded with a serious honor code; its reputation has been unsullied for decades. Now a long-dormant secret society, Prisom's Party, threatens its placid halls with vigilante justice, exposing students and teachers alike for even the most minor infraction.

Iris Dupont, a budding journalist whose only confidant is the chain-smoking specter of Edward R. Murrow, feels sure she can break into the ranks of The Devil's Advocate , the Party's underground newspaper, and there uncover the source of its blackmail schemes and vilifying rumors. Some involve the school's new science teacher, who also seems to be investigating the Party. Others point to an albino student who left school abruptly ten years before, never to return. And everything connects to a rare book called Marvelous Species . But the truth comes with its own dangers, and Iris is torn between her allegiances, her reporter's instinct, and her own troubled past.

The Year of the Gadfly is an exhilarating journey of double-crosses, deeply buried secrets, and the lifelong reverberations of losing someone you love. Following in the tradition of classic school novels such as A Separate Peace , Prep , and The Secret History , it reminds us how these years haunt our lives forever.

Publisher: Boston, Mass. : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
ISBN: 9780547548593
Branch Call Number: MILL
Characteristics: 374 p

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jeanner222 Oct 02, 2013

When Iris Dupont starts her freshman year at the prestigious Mariana Academy, she is starting anew in more than one sense. Leaving Boston for Nye is part of Iris’s road to recovery. You see, Iris has just lost her best friend to suicide. And, she’s started talking to an imaginary friend, her idol, Edward R. Murrow.

The budding journalist soon stumbles upon a most interesting story—a secret society at Mariana and the underground newspaper published by them. The society is known as Prisom’s Party and it exists (apparently) to expose and punish students and faculty members.

Who are these self-righteous finger-pointers, and what is their connection to Iris?

Iris’s research leads her to an albino student, in whose home Iris is now living. It also leads to her biology teacher, Mr. Kaplan. Convinced that there is a great story to be written, Iris further investigates the society and her teacher.

When the past and present collide, it is up to Iris to decide what is true and who is true.

This is a well-paced and engrossing novel, though the big reveal is a bit disappointing.

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