The Finishing School Author:Muriel Spark The lethally witty and morally penetrating new novel by one of the world’s most admired writers — — College Sunrise is a somewhat louche and vaguely disreputable finishing school located in Lausanne, Switzerland. Rowland Mahler and his wife, Nina, run the school as a way to support themselves while he works, somewhat falteringly, on ... more »his novel. Into his creative writing class comes seventeen-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 result: 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, an addition to one of the world’s most lauded and entertaining bodies of work.« less
The Finishing School was a quick read about jealousy in a camp-like setting. Rowland and his wife Nina run a somewhat sketchy 'finishing school' for rich teenagers. Among the current crop of students in Lausanne, Switzerland is Chris, a red-head whose work on a historical novel about Mary Queen of Scots inspires an obsessive envy in Rowland, who teaches the creative writing class and is trying to write his own novel. Scottish author Muriel Spark is billed as "the great dame of literary satire," but I think most of this went over my head. Her parsimonious use of language was very precise and admirable, but I didn't think it was so funny or develop a deep connection to this book.