The Starboard Sea

By Amber Dermont
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312642808, 310pp.)

Publication Date: February 28, 2012

List Price: $24.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the March 2012 Indie Next List
“In a world of privilege, Jaguars, Reniors, and competitive sailing, Jason Prosper has already lost what money can't buy: a best friend and lover. At Bellingham Academy, a last-shot boarding school for those on their third strike, Jason must learn to rebuild his life and navigate the stormy seas of friendship and love. Dermot recreates both the pain and promise of youth with beautiful clarity. She peoples her work with young adults doing their best to assume the very adult roles their world demands, complete with their flaws, fears, and insecurities masked by false bravado. An outstanding debut.”
-- Christopher Green, The Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, CO


Description

“A rich, quietly artful novel that is bound for deep water, with questions of beauty, power and spiritual navigation as its main concerns. The title refers not to the right side of a boat but to the right course through life, and the immense difficulty of finding and following it.”--Janet Maslin, The New York Times

A powerful first novel about life and death, friendship and love, as one young man must navigate the depths of his emotions.

JASON PROSPER grew up in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old-boy prep schools, and exclusive sailing clubs. A smart, athletic teenager, Jason maintains a healthy, humorous disdain for the trappings of affluence, preferring to spend afternoons sailing with Cal, his best friend and boarding-school roommate. When Cal commits suicide during their junior year at Kensington Prep, Jason is devastated by the loss and transfers to Bellingham Academy. There, he meets Aidan, a fellow student with her own troubled past. They embark on a tender, awkward, deeply emotional relationship.

When a major hurricane hits the New England coast, the destruction it causes brings with it another upheaval in Jason’s life, forcing him to make sense of a terrible secret that has been buried by the boys he considers his friends.

Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, The Starboard Sea is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing, and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and provocative novel about a young man finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love.




About the Author
Amber Dermont received her MFA in fiction from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Dave Eggers s Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005, Francis Ford Coppola s Zoetrope: All-Story, and Jane Smiley s Best New American Voices 2006. A graduate of Vassar College, she received her Ph.D. in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston. She currently serves as an associate professor of English and creative writing at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.
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