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At an elite English boarding school in the late 1970s, an orphaned fourteen-year-old girl falls in love with two boys—one of them gay—in this coming-of-age novel
The town orphanage has been Sophie Cullen’s only home since she was five years old. She knows not whether her parents are living or dead, and has no memory of her life before Wakefield House. No one is more surprised than Sophie when she wins the last scholarship to an exclusive boarding school. Tatham’s was founded in the fourteenth century, and it is only the rare female scholar who gains entry. Even with the girls outnumbered twenty-five to one, Sophie only has eyes for upperclassman Lucas Behrman. Until she sees him kissing a boy.
Then she meets Charlie Somborne-Abbot, whose life is shadowed by scandal. And solid, dependable Will Franks, who gives her her first kiss. But her education is just beginning. It will take a fall from grace and a devastating tragedy for Sophie to discover who she is and find her true place in the world.
From the author of the bestselling Notes from an Exhibition, Friendly Fire is a wise and affecting chronicle of the painful angst of adolescence. A novel about friendship, family, and love, it explores the intransigence of beauty, the ephemerality of youth, the exhilaration of learning, and that most British of all preoccupations: class.
“Utterly compelling from first to last: sad and funny and written with the matchlessly fine yet modest prose that marks [Gale] as a superb writer.” —Stephen Fry
“An intense tale of love, life, intellectualism and passion. Inspirational.” —Daily Express
“A classic story of subversion.” —TheSunday Times
“Another triumph for Gale.” —TheIndependent
Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester, before attending Oxford University. He now lives on a farm near Land’s End. One of the United Kingdom’s best-loved novelists, his recent works include A Perfectly Good Man, The Whole Day Through, and the Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller Notes from an Exhibition. His latest novel, A Place Called Winter, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize, the Walter Scott Prize, and the Independent Booksellers’ Novel of the Year award. To find out more about Patrick and his work, visit www.galewarning.org.