The Year of the Gadfly
By Jennifer Miller
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780547548593, 384pp.)
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
In this debut novel a budding teenage journalist at an elite prep school and her enigmatic science teacher each separately attempt to track down a secret society that may hold damning evidence about a shadowy tragedy in the school's—and the teacher's—past.
JENNIFER MILLER, author of Inheriting the Holy Land: An American’s Search for Hope in the Middle East, holds an undergraduate degree from Brown and graduate degrees in journalism and fiction from Columbia. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, the Christian Science Monitor, the Daily Beast, Salon, and others. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and now lives in Brooklyn. This is her first novel.
- In the beginning of the novel the author uses phrases like, “The seat belt held me like a straitjacket” (p. 5), and “The place screamed asylum more than school” (p. 8). She also describes the houses in Nye as “in various stages of decay and abandonment” (p. 5). What kind of mood did these images create for the opening scenes? How did this influence your reading experience?
"Part Dead Poet's Society. Part Heathers. Entirely addictive."
“Harrowing, enchanting, and utterly original.”
"A darkly comic romp...vivid and very enjoyable."
"Engages and provokes."
—The Boston Globe
"There is a relentless authenticity in her prose...Miller effectively places here characters in a vice and squeezes the truth out of them."
"A smoldering mystery set in a New England prep school... The author skillfully ratchets up the tension as Iris (and the reader) finds it harder and harder to tell who the good guys are... A gripping thrill ride that’s also a thoughtful coming-of-age story."
-O Magazine "A coming of age page-turner."
—Library Journal "Hysterical and moving, The Year of the Gadfly fuses Special Topics in Calamity Physics with Portnoy's Complaint for girls. This book is an imaginative delight."
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story "A dark, whirling, and compelling read. The Year of the Gadfly is a hilarious and heartbreaking story about friendship, acceptance, and trust — the way our search for them shapes our youth and how that search can haunt us forever."
—Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses "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 identity and our future are at stake, and shows how rare it is to leave that landscape unscathed."
—Ann Napolitano, author of Within Arm's Reach and A Good Hard Look "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."
—David Ignatius, author of Bloodmoney "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!"
—Carol Goodman, author of The Lake of the Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water