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The Starboard Sea

A Novel

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


"A rich, quietly artful novel that is bound for deep water, with questions of beauty, power and spiritual navigation as its main concerns. The title refers not to the right side of a boat but to the right course through life, and the immense difficulty of finding and following it."--Janet Maslin, The New York Times

A powerful first novel about life and death, friendship and love, as one young man must navigate the depths of his emotions.

JASON PROSPER grew up in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old-boy prep schools, and exclusive sailing clubs. A smart, athletic teenager, Jason maintains a healthy, humorous disdain for the trappings of affluence, preferring to spend afternoons sailing with Cal, his best friend and boarding-school roommate. When Cal commits suicide during their junior year at Kensington Prep, Jason is devastated by the loss and transfers to Bellingham Academy. There, he meets Aidan, a fellow student with her own troubled past. They embark on a tender, awkward, deeply emotional relationship.
When a major hurricane hits the New England coast, the destruction it causes brings with it another upheaval in Jason's life, forcing him to make sense of a terrible secret that has been buried by the boys he considers his friends.

Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, The Starboard Sea is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing, and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and provocative novel about a young man finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 21, 2011 – An anemic coming-of-age story about a sexually confused teenager learning to negotiate a Reagan-era world of material excess and unchecked freedoms sums up Dermont’s debut novel. Reeling from the suicide of Cal, his sailing partner and first love, Jason Prosper is sent to Bellingham, a laissez-faire East Coast boarding school that caters to entitled delinquents. There, he befriends Aidan, an ethereal social misfit and daughter of a Hollywood ingénue, who helps him come to terms with Cal’s death. However, Jason also takes up with a fraternity of pranksters, whose menacing antics are ignored by the school’s money-grubbing administration. After Aidan dies mysteriously during a hurricane, Jason must face the truth about his new friends and school. Though Dermont is a competent storyteller, the novel often feels like little more than a series of anecdotes about privilege and impunity, with Jason’s search for justice relegated to an extracurricular event taking place between regattas and drug-fueled blowouts. Insights are limited by Dermont’s unconditional sympathy for even the cruelest characters, amounting to a reprieve for the poor little rich kids, whose spiritual loneliness redeems their offenses, no matter how grave.

Customer Reviews


Words cannot accurately express how wonderful and brilliant this novel truly is!

Starboard Sea

Disappointing read; predictable and cliched characters.
Annoyed that I paid to download book- now have to figure out how to DELETE from my library. Would opt for no stars if allowed!

The Starboard Sea
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Feb 28, 2012
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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