Insightful and full of understanding and warmth, Patrick Gale's Friendly Fire is a richly compelling story of adolescence, sexuality and the lessons we carry forever.
Sophie, an orphan in love with learning, is sure she will thrive in Tatham's, an esteemed boarding school, having survived years of institutional living. But she soon finds herself lost among its cliques and rituals.
Befriending two teenage boys, she experiences the first ache of futile love, then a brilliant teacher's inappropriate attention to one of the trio threatens to destroy them all. Sophie swiftly realises that there are tougher lessons to absorb outside the schoolroom - of class, sex, families and the emotional disaster they can bring to even the most privileged lives.
"An intense tale of love, life, intellectualism and passion. Inspirational." (Daily Express)
"Utterly compelling from first to last." (Stephen Fry)