Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Oath by Michael L. Lewis.
Michael L. Lewis was born and raised in England. After preparatory school in London, he was educated at Stowe School, Buckingham. Michael now lives in Los Angeles, California, has a law degree, and writes full-time. He was on the Board of Trustees for several schools and has been a member of the same book club for twenty-five years.
About the book
Three Juniors – A Blood Oath – A Deadly Outcome
1955. The polished veneer of a boys’ boarding school in Northern England masks a cadre of wickedness. Seniors viciously torment any junior they deem unfit. Jonathan Simon, in his first term is warned that there are three monsters in his dorm; seniors Flicker, Sleeth and Tunk, and that the code of conduct mandates no snitching.
Simon befriends two other juniors; pixie-faced Ian Gracey and witty, grossly overweight Arthur Crown. During a cross-country run, the three friends take a short cut and stumble into the cadet rifle range. Corps Sergeant Sleeth puts them through a degrading punishment using human excrement. The three juniors swear a blood oath never to allow another bully to abuse them.
Will this oath be their downfall, or will they make it through the school year? Snitching could have serious consequences but keeping silent will break their blood oath.
As Simon, Gracey and Crown try to survive this perilous journey, the constant threat of harm brings their friendship ever closer…
Boarding schools are very much part of the educational path of the upper class and the wealthy. It’s the norm to send off children, especially boys, to learning institutes. I think tradition, peer pressure and shoving the responsibility from nanny to boarding school has become so ingrained in certain social groups and countries that considering an alternative doesn’t even factor into their decision.
Leaving aside how academically successful a boarding school can be, the emotional damage caused by separation, bullying and the often predator like proclivity of sexual activity in these institutes is probably immeasurable.
Lewis plots the story around all of these negative aspects of being shipped off to school. His characters mirror both sides of the coin. The bullies who rule the roost and the damaged victims they leave in their wake.
The lines are drawn in the sand soon after the new school year starts when the youngest newbies become targets for the older bullies. The younger boys are determined not to let them get away with their usual crimes. The small groups become entwined in a dangerous war of revenge and a fight for survival.
It’s a contemporary thriller, a fast-paced and uncomfortable read at times. It fits into the YA and adult genre. The writing leans more towards simplicity and only skims the first layers in terms of depth. Saying that, the style lends itself to a bigger audience in terms of both younger and older readers.
Buy The Oath at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Book Guild Publishing pub date 1 Mar. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Book Guild. Buy at Book Depository. Foyles. WHSmith. Waterstones. Blackwells.
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