The World Cannot Give

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Pub Date 08 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 08 Mar 2022

Description

The Secret History meets The Price of Salt” (Vogue) in this “equal parts dangerous and delicious” (Entertainment Weekly) novel about queer desire, religious zealotry, and the hunger for transcendence among the members of a cultic chapel choir at a Maine boarding school—and the ambitious, terrifyingly charismatic girl that rules over them.

When shy, sensitive Laura Stearns arrives at St. Dunstan’s Academy in Maine, she dreams that life there will echo her favorite novel, All Before Them, the sole surviving piece of writing by Byronic “prep school prophet” (and St. Dunstan’s alum) Sebastian Webster, who died at nineteen, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. She soon finds the intensity she is looking for among the insular, Webster-worshipping members of the school’s chapel choir, which is presided over by the charismatic, neurotic, overachiever Virginia Strauss. Virginia is as fanatical about her newfound Christian faith as she is about the miles she runs every morning before dawn. She expects nothing short of perfection from herself—and from the member of the choir.

Virginia inducts the besotted Laura into a world of transcendent music and arcane ritual, illicit cliff-diving and midnight crypt visits: a world that, like Webster’s novels, finally seems to Laura to be full of meaning. But when a new school chaplain challenges Virginia’s hold on the “family” she has created, and Virginia’s efforts to wield her power become increasingly dangerous, Laura must decide how far she will let her devotion to Virginia go.

The World Cannot Give is a “hypnotic and intense” (Shondaland) meditation on the power, and danger, of wanting more from the world.
The Secret History meets The Price of Salt” (Vogue) in this “equal parts dangerous and delicious” (Entertainment Weekly) novel about queer desire, religious zealotry, and the hunger for...

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ISBN 9781982170066
PRICE $27.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 133 members


Featured Reviews

This book nails all of the horrors and ecstasies of adolescence. The toxic groups of friends who buoy while they drown, the new-found certainties that lead to rigidity masquerading as resolve, the inability to imagine a world beyond the insular campus, deeply disappointing teenage boys, all this and more are explored at length. There is a little bit of Laura and a little bit of Virginia in us all.

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What a gripping, raw novel about queerness, identity, and acceptance. This is A LITTLE LIFE meets CATCHER IN THE RYE. Burton has created a novel of such emotion, such captivation that pulls at your heart and mind. Thank you for the e-arc.

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