Corinne Edwards's Reviews > A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace by John Knowles
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Mar 30, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: book-club, war, world-war-ii, american, deep, friendship, 2007, classics, new-england, tragedy

I've known about this book for such a long time. I remember when I was a sophomore in high school, or maybe a junior, the other English classes read it. Everyone said it was pretty good - but all I ever knew about it, was that it was about teenage boys during WWII. So, I never had any desire to read it. Book club to the rescue, yet again.

I loved it - and it broke my heart. The book is not half so much about war, necessarily, as I had thought it would be. Really, it is the story of two boys and their relationship and the result of one horrible, instantaneous mistake. The kind of mistake that changes everything, forever and it is so hard to own up to that kind of heartache - especially when you are sixteen years old.

The book is so beautifully written. It was like reading poetry at times and I felt it was so full of human truth. A few examples

"...it seemed clear that wars were not made by generations and their special stupidities, but that wars were made instead by something ignorant in the human heart."

"Perhaps I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth."

"I wondered in the silences between jokes about Leper whether the still hidden parts of myself might contain the Sad Sack, the outcast, or the coward"

The book was sometimes hard to read (in the sense that it was emotionally painful), but well worth it by the end. An excellent character study and a story about a group of people in a time period that I've never read about before.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
March 30, 2008 – Shelved
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: book-club
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: war
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: world-war-ii
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: american
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: deep
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: friendship
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: 2007
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: classics
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: new-england
February 3, 2016 – Shelved as: tragedy

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Nicole I like this one, too. It's a beautiful, heartbreaking book, like you said.


message 2: by Kathleen (new) - added it

Kathleen where can i download a pfd file ?


Gemma Great review! I was wondering what age someone could start reading this? :)


Corinne Edwards I'd say 14 or so :)


Gemma Ok, thanks so much!


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