The sensational first novel from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Luminaries. Set in the aftermath of a sex scandal at an all-girls’ high school, Eleanor Catton’s internationally acclaimed award-winning debut is a provocative and darkly funny novel about the elusiveness of truth, the slipperiness of identity, and the emotional compromises we make to belong.
When news spreads of a high school teacher’s relationship with one of his students, the teenage girls at Abbey Grange are jolted into a new awareness of their own potency and power. Although no one knows the whole truth, the girls have their own ideas about what happened. As they obsessively examine the details of the affair with the curiosity and jealousy native to any adolescent girl, they confide in their saxophone teacher, an enigmatic woman who is only too happy to play both confidante and stage manager to her students. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a play, the boundaries between fact and fantasy soon break down as dramas both real and imagined begin to unfold.
Sharply observed, brilliantly crafted, and infused with a deliciously subversive wit, The Rehearsal is at once a vibrant portrait of teenage longing and adult regret, and a shrewd exposé of how we are all performers in life, from one of the most bold and exciting voices in contemporary fiction.