College Sunrise is a vaguely disreputable finishing school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Rowland Mahler and his wife, Nina, run the school as a way to support themselves while he works, somewhat falteringly, on his novel. Into his creative writing class comes 17-year-old Chris Wiley, a literary prodigy whose historical novel-in-progress, on Mary Queen of Scots and the murder of her husband Lord Darnley, has already excited the interest of publishers. The inevitable results are keen envy and a game of cat and mouse not free of sexual jealousy and attraction.
Nobody writing has a keener instinct than Muriel Spark for hypocrisy, self-delusion, and moral ambiguity, or a more deliciously satirical eye. The Finishing School is certain to be another Spark landmark.
"[Spark has] the most sharply original fictional imagination of our time...Starting her career as a poet, [she] in many ways remains one, not least in her deftness at finding images in unexpected places." (Sunday Times)
"Wittily recalls Spark's best-known work, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie....Sparks so brilliantly captures extreme states of mind (paranoia, hysteria, neurosis, psychosis) because she organizes her chaotic and centrifugal subject matter through tightly structured plots and luminously precise language." (Times Literary Supplement)
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Short but Sweet