A dynamite little novel characterized by pointed writing covering a lot of ground. 15-year-old Jo's best friend is dead, her hometown has turned against her, her parents' marriage is deteriorating, and now she's been shipped away to a boarding school where her teacher is paying her a little too much attention. A slice of life story that packs a punch. Teenage girl power dynamics, the vulnerability of youth, and the abuse of power all make this a devastating and timeless piece. I read it in one sitting. — Hanna Yost
From the highly acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award finalist and author of A Short History of Women, a searing and timely novel about a teenaged girl, a charismatic teacher, and a dark, open secret.
They were on a lark, three teenaged girls speeding across the greens on a borrowed golf cart, at night, drunk. The cart crashes and one of the girls lands violently in the rough, killed instantly. The driver, Jo, flees the hometown that has turned against her and enrolls at a prestigious boarding school. Her past weighs on her. She is responsible for the death of her best friend. She has tipped her parents' rocky marriage into demise. She is ready to begin again, far away from the accident.
Taut, propulsive and devastating, His Favorites reveals the interior life of a young woman determined to navigate the treachery in a new world. Told from her perspective many years later, the story cooly describes a series of shattering events and the system that failed to protect her. Walbert, who brilliantly explored a century of women's struggles for rights and recognition in her award-winning A Short History of Women, limns the all-too-common violations of vulnerability and aspiration in the lives of young women in this suspenseful short novel. From the publisher of the classic A Separate Peace, His Favorites is an urgent book by a wickedly smart writer (New York Times Book Review) whose work is fascinating, moving and significant (Washington Post).