There is so much going on in Jennifer Miller’s debut novel, The Year of the Gadfly, that I hardly know where to begin. The setting is the very posh, very private Mariana Academy in a small town in Massachusetts. 14-year-old Iris Dupont and her parents have just moved there from Boston following a tragedy involving Iris’s best friend, hoping for a fresh start.
Unfortunately for Iris, this new environment she is thrust into is not going to help her at all.
Iris wants to be the next Edward R. Murrow, and decides that the only way to get involved at school is to go poking into Prisom’s Party, a secret student society named after the school’s founder. As she gets further into her investigation, she finds out her favorite teacher, Mr. Kaplan, was once a student at Mariana. Not only was he a student, but he may have been a member of Prisom’s Party. She also discovers that the home where she and her parents are staying was once the home of Lily Morgan, another student of Mariana Academy who left the school twelve years ago and has never returned.
Iris is not sure exactly how this all ties together, but she is determined to find out. However, sometimes it is best just to leave the past behind…
Although the main character is a 14-year-old, this psychological thriller is definitely for adults. Jennifer Miller is an author to watch!
Read-alike: The Secret History by Donna Tartt