"Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School is a keenly entertaining novel that observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. Seen through the lens of four families who’ve been a part of one another’s lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group’s children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate. It’s a humorous, keenly observed, timely take on ambitious parents, willful kids, and the pursuit of prestige, no matter the cost."

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger review: competitive

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger is a contemporary fiction novel set in the fictional town of Crystal in Colorado, United States. It is a story about ambitious children and their parents who are ready to go to any length owing to their privilege. The book was published by Riverhead Books in English on July 2, 2019. I have listened to the audiobook narrated by January LaVoy and released by Penguin Audio.

It is an undoubtedly good read since it tries to bring out the truth about the so-called talent schools for gifted kids. But the deeply buried family secrets that eventually come to the surface seemed unrelated to the story. The only thing they did is add to the length of the book. Even without them, the plot seems complete and the point is driven home.

The plot has so many characters it is tough to keep track of each one of them and their relationships with one another. This was especially difficult for me since I was perusing the audiobook, and going back every time a new character was introduced was simply not an option. I resorted to writing down the family trees in a Microsoft Excel sheet. Coincidentally, family trees turned out to be a major plot point in the story (that is the only spoiler you are getting in this review).

This book is a perfect candidate to be turned into a web series. Come on Netflix, do it already!

Purchase your copy of The Gifted School. Also, refer to its Goodreads listing.

Cover image courtesy of Riverhead Books.

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