The Swallows: A Novel

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After leaving an elite boarding school under murky circumstances, Alex Witt is hired by a lesser school, Stonebridge Academy, to teach English. What she ends up teaching, and learning is the hard truth about the still wildly dysfunctional gender disparities in America.

Just as the country grapples with the #MeToo movement, Lisa Lutz delivers a stab to the heart with The Swallows. The teenagers who fill Ms. Witt’s classes are on the cusp of adulthood but well past the threshold of their emerging sexuality, engaging in what many of the novel’s adults deem activities far beyond their years. There is a war against women within the novel that begins with teen boys believing their needs and desires are more important than the humanity of their female classmates. The war bleeds into the relationships between the girls as they conspire against each other. The real drama unfolds when a small group of girls decides to rebel and expose the grimy underworld that is the Darkroom, a small website used by Stonebridge boys to rank and ridicule the girls.

Set before social media became ubiquitous for teens, The Swallows capitalizes on the corners of the web that used to be where venom went to hide. As you read the book, you almost long for the days when misogyny was on the down-low.

For anyone who dreams of a day when “boys will be boys” is a thing of the past and sexual politics are equal, The Swallows is a rallying cry.

Reviewed By:

Author Lisa Lutz
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 416 pages
Publisher Ballantine
Publish Date 2019-08-13
ISBN 9781984818232 Buy this Book
Issue November 2019
Category Popular Fiction


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