Charlie and his mom live on the other side of the tracks but with his mom's connections, he is accepted into a posh private school and given a mentor family to boot. Charlie is befriended by a charismatic boy, Archer, who is sort of an adopted son to the mentor family and also includes a boy Charlie's age and a girl he falls hard for who is already dating Arch. It is safe to say that Charlie gets a lot out of being included in this privileged existence but certain events happen to make them less attractive. He runs away from his mom and the old money family to pursue his art out of the country. When he returns home much later he looks at his friend Arch, who has now been given everything Charlie thought he wanted and he comes to a decision about how much of his own life, friendship, and soul he is willing to risk.
A classic southern coming of age and angst among the classes story. Ed Tarkington picks up the baton of what has been Pat Conroy's domain without missing a beat. Readers of deep-rooted family secrets, class struggles and friendship stories will enjoy this new addition. 4 stars
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