What I Was: A Novel

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What I Was: A Novel

by Meg Rosoff

Plume | January 13, 2009 | Trade Paperback

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Read Meg Rosoff''s posts on the Penguin Blog.

Finn was a beautiful orphan. H was a prep school misfit. On a September afternoon many years ago they met on a beach on the coast of England, near the ancient fisherman’s hut Finn was squatting in with his woodstove, a case of books, a striped blanket and a cat. H insinuates his way into Finn’s life—his blazing wood fires and fishing expeditions. Their friendship deepens, offering H the freedom and human connection that has always eluded him. But all too soon the idyll of their relationship is shaken by a heart-wrenching scandal.

What I Was is the unforgettable story of H at the end of his life looking back on this friendship, which has shaped and obsessed him for nearly a century.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 7.78 × 5.1 × 0.54 in

Published: January 13, 2009

Publisher: Plume

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0452290236

ISBN - 13: 9780452290235

Found in: Fiction and Literature
Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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– More About This Product –

What I Was: A Novel

by Meg Rosoff

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 7.78 × 5.1 × 0.54 in

Published: January 13, 2009

Publisher: Plume

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0452290236

ISBN - 13: 9780452290235

Read from the Book

The sound of Finn boiling water woke me at dawn. He wasn''t much for talking, especially at that hour, and wouldn''t answer any conversation I initiated. Like the hut, he warmed up slowly, and I had a feeling his habit of solitude had existed for so long that it surprised him every morning to find me asleep where his granny had once lain. It occurred to me that I had been at boarding school for a good many more years than Finn had lived alone, so perhaps my social skills were a little on the odd side as well. Whenever I was at home, I watched my mother chat brightly over breakfast the way an anthropologist might note typical social behaviour of the human species. I hated getting up in the cold, and slept buried up to my eyes in blankets, removing them only to wrap my hands around a warm cup of tea. Finn had added sugar to mine unprompted and I turned away to hide my flush of pleasure. I knew that if I waited in bed for him to build up the fire and perform his morning tasks, the hut would gradually fill with a kind of fuggy warmth, so I lay still, savouring the familiar sounds and postponing reentry into full consciousness for as long as possible. Nothing in my life so far compared with those first minutes of the day, half sitting in bed, still swaddled in warmth and with no imperative to move, just staring out of the window as the first pale streaks ignited the sky. I watched boats chug slowly past the windows: fishing boats returning from a long night of work, sailing boats
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From the Publisher

Read Meg Rosoff''s posts on the Penguin Blog.

Finn was a beautiful orphan. H was a prep school misfit. On a September afternoon many years ago they met on a beach on the coast of England, near the ancient fisherman’s hut Finn was squatting in with his woodstove, a case of books, a striped blanket and a cat. H insinuates his way into Finn’s life—his blazing wood fires and fishing expeditions. Their friendship deepens, offering H the freedom and human connection that has always eluded him. But all too soon the idyll of their relationship is shaken by a heart-wrenching scandal.

What I Was is the unforgettable story of H at the end of his life looking back on this friendship, which has shaped and obsessed him for nearly a century.

About the Author

Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, USA. She has worked in publishing, public relations and most recently advertising, but thinks the best job in the world would be head gardener for Regents Park. Meg lives in Highbury, North London. She is the author of Just in Case, What I Was and How I Live Now.

Editorial Reviews

"A richly patterned work about secrets...how an innocent crush can utterly change everything."
-People (four stars)

"[A] beautifully crafted tale that seems, like its protagonist, both enduringly old and fluently new."
-Los Angeles Times

"This whole novel is built on a surprise...beyond the surprise lies the beauty of what it means to live without junk in your life, and the reminder that all of it-the junk and the beauty-will be gone in a twinkling. This is a lovely book."
-The Washington Post

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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