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Iris Dupont is a spirited teenage reporter whose only confidant is the chain-smoking spectre of Edward R. Murrow. Jonah Kaplan is a failed microbiologist-turned-biology-teacher who is haunted by the ghosts of his past.
In the notorious Mariana Academy, a prep school whose reputation has remained unsullied for decades, each embarks on a private investigation to uncover a secret society that has been operating in their remote New England town.
But when their investigations threaten to dredge up the long-buried secret behind the death of a student twelve years earlier, Iris and Jonah are drawn into the darkest corners of their town, their school and their own minds.
The Year of the Gadfly is an exhilarating journey of double-crosses, long-buried secrets and all the charge of adolescence, following in the footsteps of classic school novels like Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, and reminding us how these years haunt our lives forever.
‘Hysterical and moving, Jennifer Miller’s debut fiction fuses Special Topics in Calamity Physics with Portnoy’s Complaint for girls. This book is an imaginative delight.’
‘This novel has so much going for it: the feisty, heartbroken heroine, the ghost of Edward R. Murrow, and a fascinating love story between an albino girl and a gifted young scientist. In a brilliant portrayal of the dark underbelly of adolescence, Miller explores a time when both our indentity and our future are at stafe, and shows how rare it is to leave that landscape unscathed.’
‘It’s hard to resist any novel whose young journalist heroine hallucinates that she’s in conversation with Edward R. Murrow. But Jennifer Miller has also written a book with the feel of real life—part science experiment, part mystery story, part a coming-of-age narrative sorting out the truth about one’s friends and enemies.’
‘Jennifer Miller is a writer of exceptional promise, with instincts that are equally astute for insight into character, innovative structure, memorable phrasing, and startling plot turns that compel the reader to read on. In The Year of the Gadfly, her literary gifts are on virtuoso display; readers will be drawn deeply into this narrative and never want to leave it!’
‘Hilarious and heartbreaking, The Year of the Gadfly is a story about friendship, acceptance and trust—the way our search for it shapes our youth and how that search can haunt us forever. A dark, whirling and compelling read.’