Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Schooling” as Want to Read:
Schooling
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Schooling

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Heather McGowan’s widely praised first novel introduces a literary artist of consummate skill, and a narrative voice of astonishing sensitivity and sensuousness. Tracking every mercurial shift of her character’s consciousness, the result is dreamy, disquieting, and achingly alive.

Schooling is a portrait of an adolescent girl, thirteen-year-old Catrine Evans, who following
...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Vintage (first published June 13th 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Schooling, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Schooling

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,743)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Deborah
So Heather McGowan was my grad student professor at Brown in a creative writing class that I adored. I think she had a short story of the same character published in an anthology prior to the release of this novel.
Prepare yourself. She is a tough writer, and this was a crazy read. The narrator is this young girl who you can't really trust - is it her imagination or reality? She's very stream of conscious, which I love, but again, you really have to get into the narrator's mind, go with the flow
...more
Bob
This got a certain amount of criticism for being stylistically too difficult - NY Times reviewer: "Heather McGowan's first novel is, in the most fundamental meaning of the word, unreadable: it cannot be read, which isn't to say that there aren't other ways to experience or even enjoy it", but in fact you can let your eyes travel over all the words and know what is going on at least 80% of the time. On one level, a British boarding school novel that makes one almost tempted to invoke Stalky & ...more
Becky
I quite enjoyed bits of Schooling, but stylistically it annoyed the hell out of me. The narrative was all messed up and smothered by stream of consciousness, poorly punctuated, multi narrative mess, taking a lot of the feeling out of the story. Catrine gets sent to boarding school in England after maybe or maybe not killing a man. She gets in with the wrong crowd at school, has an affair with a teacher, and grows up a little bit. But it's disjointed and awkward and maybe that's supposed to just ...more
Melinda
I applaud Heather McGowan's debut effort Schooling. Most impressed with McGowan's use of stream of consciousness style which adds texture and depth to both narrative and characters.

Schooling is a sophisticated and involved coming of age story of 14 year old Catrine. Catrine is a young girl facing many issues at once. Banished to boarding school, ignored by her father. Young Catrine craves love and attention and gains the attention of her chemistry teacher Mr Gilbert. What begins as an innocen
...more
Holly
Catrine Evans, a 13 year old American girl, begins attending a British boarding school after her mother dies and her father moves to England. The story covers roughly one term of her study and is told in part via stream of consciousness and in part third person narrative. It is experimental, it can make the brain spin, and the lack of punctuation can make one hold one's breath:
"She takes away her hand but puts a plea in her eyes not too much not too dramatic but just enough just enough to say y
...more
Ian
Revives a very Woolf-style stream-of-consciousness effect, but McGowan seems determined to make it even harder for the less-than-fully-focussed reader by allowing past as well as present events to crowd in on the narrative. That is not too surprising though when you consider that the protagonist is a 13-year-old girl, Catrine Evans, transplanted from America into an English public School, Monstead, while still grieving for the loss of her mother. Given her efforts to fit in, her guilt over a pos ...more
Jennifer Barbee
I was so excited about this book. The plot sounded juicy and the writing style seemed unique, but in the end, the stream-of-consciousness of an irritating character became tedious. I couldn't wait to finish this and move on to something else. I felt the writer's heavy hand all throughout this novel. I wanted it to be so much better.
Sonja
Oct 07, 2012 Sonja marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
oh i love boarding school stories!
Parksy
4.5

Very difficult read due to the stream of consciousness style, but very clever and interesting.

From Publishers Weekly
In her emotionally resonant and keenly observed first novel, McGowan employs a stream-of-consciousness prose style to describe the trials of a 13-year-old American girl when she is sent to an English boarding school following the death of her mother. From Maine, Catrine Evans travels to Monstead, the school north of London that her father, Teddy, born in Wales, attended during W
...more
Josie
I think what is happening here is that McGowan chooses a trope plot--the illicit, almost innocent relationship of a teacher (male, 34) and a boarding school pupil (female, 13-14)--as a platform for an experimental mode of storytelling. I think the book is a little bit of a failure because of this compromise, but it is also totally worth reading.

The narrative is mostly from the girl, Catrine's, point of view (perhaps it is entirely so), yet from multiple angles. Sometimes it is in the manner of a
...more
Laura
This was a strange book and not the easiest to follow, but very rewarding, if you can handle the experimental style. McGowan seems to move effortlessly between different currents of thought, memory, and sensation, suggesting a multiplicity of perspectives while still remaining true to the subjectivity of the protagonist, Catrine Evans. I enjoyed the occasional obscurities of this novel, the references to art and literature, and the experiments with form; in fact, the long dramatic cycle at the e ...more
Catherine
This book is full of intercut sentences and few typographical clues: almost a stream of consciousness from a mind given even more than usual to tangential thinking and distraction. Yet Catrine, far from being manic, is often described by others in the book as sullen or petulant. The plot is a classic Don't Stand so Close to me tale: Catrine finds that she is not yet ready to handle the adult relationship she craves and things fall messily and inevitably apart. There are some interesting sections ...more
Duane Sobczak
I'm sure I would have liked this book if it was written n such random and frenetic snap shots. There were points that I read 20 or 30 pages and really couldn't recall what it was that I just read. I see no need to pan this book, because my main issue was with the style of the writing. The story, when I could follow it, was actually interesting.
Morgan
Stream of consciousness/cross-genre Lolita set in a British boarding school. Not as fun as it sounds. While I really enjoy the work of Carole Maso, and I found this novel's style reminiscent of AVA, I didn't find it nearly as readable. While the style did capture some of the broody uncertainty of the mind of a young teen, it was often disjointed and rather tiring. I really did not need any of the sections from the point of view of other characters. That got tedious quite quickly. Yet another boo ...more
Annie Holmes
Adolescence, a stream-of-consciousness boarding school drama, stylistically somewhere between Woolf and Macbride, Mrs Dalloway and A Girl is a Half Formed Thing. It held me by the end of the story, despite wafting.

Highly charged and topical theme given an interesting treatment, could be contentious.
Suzanne Hamilton
So I could admire the author's efforts at creating the haze and muddlement of grief and loneliness, and I could be mildly intrigued by the interesting girl whose story this is, but I couldn't push myself to finish the book. Too vague, too meandering, convoluted, whatever other adjective one can muster ...
Jayne Bauling
All the ellipses distract from the story, twenty-three on one page. Maybe they're intended as bubbles in the stream of consciousness.
A.J.
This isn't a book I could read quickly - the stream-of-consciousness style demands close attention. The story interweaves the past and the present, dialogue, thoughts and quotations in a way that reminded me of reading T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. As I started reading I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to stick with it (part of me resented being made to work so hard), but I was drawn into Catrine's experiences and found parallels with experiences of my own school days (Lilt! I'd forgotten ...more
Melissa
So difficult to follow, written as a stream of consciousness. Not my kind of book.
Adam
Astonishing. One of the best novels I have ever read, which sounds like absurd hype - but in this case it's true. The subject is disturbing - an appropriate relationship between a male teacher and girl pupil - but the style, insight and overall technique are breathtaking. Truly original, and often hilarious as well as painful. This book shows what the novel could be, if only writers had a bit of ambition. It's a novel written as if Woolf and Joyce still mattered. I've read it twice, twelve years ...more
Tiffany
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sophie
This is very unusual for me to leave a book unfinished I just couldn't bring myself to finish this book. Written in a stream-of-consciousness, it was actually rather cleverly written, but the style prevented me from really feeling anything for any of the characters, and as a result I just stopped caring about half way through.
Kb
A girl dealing with grief and dislocation trying to make her way in a completely different country. The style at times made it difficult to understand what was happening but the language captured the difficulties of memory, cultural shock, grief and wanting to be special.
Kerry Poznanski
TERRIBLE! I do not like stream of consciousness writing in general, but this has to be the single worst book I have ever read. I did not find any of the characters likable, the story line is boring and the ending pointless.
Stephen Flanagan
Just started... first 14 chapters are facinating. A writing style that uses one sentence to simultaneously convey two topics. That doesn't do McGowan justice, but this writing is superb. More later
Sandra
This book was the most whacked out disjointed insane thing i have ever ever read and i will never in my entire lifetime forget that experience.
Tara
Just couldn't get into the story. I think it had to do with the way it was written more than the story itself.
Karen
Interesting take on the girl's school in the English countryside, it was a fast read.
Dottie
Thoroughly enjoyed this one and the ensuing discussion with folks on Constant Reader.
Laura
Good heavens... Glad that is over. The last paragraph is 15 pages long.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 58 59 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Small Remedies
  • Adjunct: An Undigest
  • Islands
  • London Orbital
  • Thursbitch
  • Spring Flowers, Spring Frost
  • In the Forest
  • Shroud
  • An Obedient Father
  • Celestial Harmonies
  • Gabriel's Gift
  • That They May Face The Rising Sun
  • The Heart of Redness
  • The Light of Day
  • The Lambs of London
  • Nowhere Man
  • Don't Move
  • Everything You Need
Duchess of Nothing Global Innovation Science Handbook, Chapter 38 - Inspiration for Innovation Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate Broad Thinking - Connecting Design and Innovation with What Women Want (Chapter 13 from Disrupt Together) Broad Thinking - Connecting Design and Innovation with What Women Want (Chapter 13 from Disrupt Together)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Only a man of genius can bare a solitary life.” 4 likes
“Some have it that patience is actually despair dressed as a virtue.” 2 likes
More quotes…