What I Was

What I Was

Book - 2008
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A piercing, magical story about'a life-altering friendship

Toward the end of his life, H looks back on the relationship that has shaped and obsessed him for nearly a century. It began many years earlier at St. Oswald’s, a dismal boarding school on the coast of England, where the young H came face- to-face with an almost unbearably beautiful boy living by himself at the edge of the sea.

At first, the mysterious Finn appears to have no past—his home is an ancient fisherman’s hut with a woodstove, a case of books, striped blankets, and a cat.

H insinuates his way into Finn’s life, stalking him with perfect patience until an unlikely friendship is kindled; a confused idyll of ?devotion and longing set against a background of blazing wood fires and fishing expeditions.

Their friendship deepens, offering H both the freedom and the human connection that has always eluded him. But in a world of conformity, can one eccentric idyll be ?allowed to survive?
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2008
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780670018444
Characteristics: 209 pages : map ; 22 cm


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Oct 29, 2010

I didn't expect to, but really enjoyed this book. I thought the language used was brilliant and precise. I found the themes in it to be thought provoking. It made me want to give to other people just so I could ask, "What did you think about..."

May 30, 2010

This book was well written. An easy read that provides quite an enlightening insight into the world of boarding schools in that day.


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Oct 29, 2010

Despite my exquisitely honed indifference, my life telescoped
down to a few and little desires: to have second helpings of food, to wear
clothes that didn’t itch or cause undue humiliation, to be left alone.


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