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St. Stephen's Academy, Yorkshire, 1931. A world unto itself, populated by boys reveling in life's first big mistakes and men still learning how to live with the consequences of their own. It is a cloistered life, exotic to modern eyes, founded upon privilege, ruled by byzantine and often unspoken laws, haunted by injuries both casual and calculated. Yet within those austere corridors can be found windows of enchantment, unruly love, and a wild sort of freedom—all vanished, it seems, from our world.
As a work of literary time travel, H. S. Cross's This Age of Grace stands with the novels of Patrick O'Brian and L. P. Hartley in allowing readers to breathe the air of another era. Told from a variety of viewpoints—including that of the unhappy housemaster John Grieve—This Age of Grace takes us deep inside the crucible of St. Stephen's while retaining a clear-eyed, contemporary sensibility, drawing out the urges and even mercies hidden beneath the school's strict, unsparing surface. The academy may live by its own codes, but as with the world around it—a world that must ultimately be faced—it already contains everything necessary to either shape its people or tear them apart.
Author: H.S. Cross
Paperback Published 17 June 2020 544 pages