A Private Place 1991
Kate Saunders, Cosmopolitan
"This viciously clever novel is written with a coiled up energy that bodes well for the future."
Jill Neville, The Independent.
Knotshead advertises itself as a top British boarding school. With its arcadian setting, progressive curriculum and healthy mixing of the sexes it is surely one which any liberal parent would approve. Of course, they don't know what really goes on there - and even the death of a pupil has been successfully kept quiet.
Three pupils are about to change that, however. Winthrop T. Sheen, a much-expelled American preppy, thinks it's "worse than a summer camp for web feet." Alice Godwin, the Headmaster's niece, finds school an excruciating test of endurance leavened only by her lessons with the classics master and his parrot Horatio. Both are terrorised by Johnny Tore, son of a rock star and leader of "the Lads" who run the school underground of drugs, alcohol and sex. The staff are too enraptured by educational theories and internal power struggles to notice. Onlt Grub, gifted pianist and court-jester to Tore, sees that fear and loathing are escalating to anarchy and murder.