Written by John Knowles, A Separate Peace is a realistic fiction story about a boy named Gene who attends boarding school in New England and is set during the years of World War II. The plot mainly follows Gene and his best friend Phineas. Gene is quiet, inverted and an intellectual. Phineas is everyone’s favorite person; he is athletic, charming, and a daredevil. The two are complete opposites but could be described as “inseparable.” Although, they struggle with their friendship as certain events unfold through the story.
Overall it was a simple story with a strong message. This is very much a coming of age story. There can be a much deeper meaning found in the story if one reads closely; there is not just a war going on in the world, but also one in all of us. That is one of the reasons why I loved this book. Also, Knowles does a great job of putting the reader in a real teenage mind and is overall written very well. There is so much imagery and good language all throughout the story. There were a few chapters that seemed slow, but when the story picked up it was captivating.
Personally, I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book to mainly teenagers, but an adult would definitely enjoy it as well. If you like realistic fiction or WWII this could be the book for you. It reminded me a bit of the movie Dead Poets Society. An interesting and beautiful story.