In the tradition of Prep and Old School, a sharp and evocative portrait of an insider at an elite boarding school who must face a reality very different from his lofty expectations.
St. James is an exclusive New England boarding school known for grooming generations of leaders. Ben is a true insider–his family were founders, his older brother was a campus legend, and he commands awe on the squash court.
But after fourteen long years of waiting, Ben arrives at school only to find that the reality of St. James doesn’t quite match up with his imaginings. His new roommate, Ahmed, though fabulously wealthy, doesn’t fit in with the unspoken mores of New England blue bloods. And just as Ben struggles to prove himself worthy of the place he has revered for so long, he discovers that he is in danger of losing it forever.
The Expectations is at once a finely drawn portrait of American privilege and a subtle exploration of class, race, and tradition. Above all, it is a tender, sharp, and evocative debut about the pain and treachery of adolescence, and the difficulty–wherever one finds oneself –of truly belonging.