Written by Claire Cornwall, S. It is accepted that Ault graduated go on to complete their education at Ivy League colleges. Teenage Lee is the main character in the novel and her now thirty year old self the narrator, selecting the stories and incidents that best sum up her Ault experience. As a Freshman on a full academic scholarship, Lee is fourteen when she leaves her home in South Bend, Indiana, for Ault, which she quickly realizes is not just a different city but a different world. At her public high school in South Bend she was a star student but at Ault, Lee struggles. She is behind when she arrives and never manages to catch up with her classmates.
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Written by Claire Cornwall, S. It is accepted that Ault graduated go on to complete their education at Ivy League colleges. Teenage Lee is the main character in the novel and her now thirty year old self the narrator, selecting the stories and incidents that best sum up her Ault experience. As a Freshman on a full academic scholarship, Lee is fourteen when she leaves her home in South Bend, Indiana, for Ault, which she quickly realizes is not just a different city but a different world.
At her public high school in South Bend she was a star student but at Ault, Lee struggles. She is behind when she arrives and never manages to catch up with her classmates. Early in her Freshman year Lee is humiliated in Ancient History class by completing the wrong project and runs from the classroom before she starts to cry.
This crush is so all-encompassing that Lee wonders if she might be attracted to women and she takes a pamphlet about sexuality and identity from the common room, hiding it in her dresser drawer. When Lee finds Dede going through the dresser that belongs to their other room mate Sin Jun Kim , Lee starts to believe that Dede herself might be stealing the money for attention.
Lee is unconvinced, confiding in fellow scholarship student Little Washington , who advised Lee to tell their dormitory "mother" Madame Broussard. A few days later Lee remembers the pamphlet about sexual identity in her dresser drawer and becomes terrified that Dede will find it.
Lee confronts Little who admits that she is the thief. After much soul searching Lee reports Little who is sent home immediately. Towards the end of Freshman year the Dean announces a surprise holiday, and Lee, without a group of friends to make plans with, decides to take the bus to the mall and get her ears pierced. There are no jewelry stores at the mall but she finds a motorcycle store that sells leather jackets and biker jewelry where she is able to get her ears pierced.
The sight of the piercing fun coming towards her makes her feel nauseous and after both ears are pierced Lee faints. She is rescued by a fellow Ault student called Cross Sugerman who takes her for a milkshake and makes sure she is feeling better. Realizing she is alone Cross invites her to go to the movies with his friends. Lee accepts. After the movie they notice that the last bus has already left for Ault so to avoid missing curfew Cross hails a cab and they all jump in.
Freshman summer Lee meets Conchita Maxwell , a gaudy dresser who is the daughter of a Texan oil tycoon. They become friendly and Lee teaches Conchita how to ride a bicycle. When Conchita finds out about their plan she is angry and hurt, blaming Lee for stealing her best friend and immediately their friendship is over. Lee decides to register to play the school wise game Assassin on an attempt to bring herself and Cross together. Participating players have to "kill" the student whose identity they are given by placing a sticker on them without being seen by anyone.
As a Sophomore Lee discovers a gift for cutting hair when talented fellow student Tullis Haskell asks her to cut off his ponytail. In the winter of Junior Year Sin Jun attempts suicide by taking an overdose of painkillers. Lee had never considered that Sin Jun might be depressed and assumes she is worried about her grades.
Lee runs downstairs shocked. Later Sin Jun tells her that the relationship precipitated her suicide attempt as she had originally pressured Clara into it, and now that Clara was utterly dependent on her, Sin Jun wanted to end the relationship.
Her guilt was overwhelming and suicide seemed her only escape. Sin Jun goes home to Korea for the rest of the year, returning to Ault as a Senior. Whilst waiting for her ride back to Ault from the hospital, Lee encounters Dave Bardot, a kitchen porter at Ault who is visiting his sister in the hospital.
He offers Lee a ride back to school which she reluctantly accepts when it becomes clear her ride has forgotten about her. Dave asks Lee to dinner and she accepts but their friendship does not develop as Lee is very dismissive of Dave when he talks to her in front of her friends, their reaction confirming her suspicions that a relationship with Dave would further emphasize her outsider status.
Martha is responsible and respected but definitely not one of the "in crowd" so her nomination is something of a surprise. Lee also feels it to be a small betrayal as together they were both outsiders, but with her nomination to the popular group Martha was revealed not to be such an outsider after all.
Shockingly she wins the election, with Cross Sugerman winning the job of Senior Prefect alongside her. Although Lee tries not to be envious she wishes desperately it was she, not Martha, who sees Cross every day. Lee studies harder but still cannot concentrate on anything other than Cross and trying to devise ways in which they could spend time together.
Lee is given a last-chance Math paper which students complete in their rooms, signing a statement that they have completed the paper themselves, completely unaided by anyone else. Lee gets a passing grade on the paper and thanks to Martha is allowed to remain at Ault for Senior Year. The first time he visits, Martha is away for the weekend, but his second visit wakes Martha up; she wordlessly leaves the room but later tells Lee that his rule-breaking visits threaten her position at the school too, and suggests that they find somewhere else to meet.
When Cross visits again Lee pulls him into the Day Girl room, which is almost never in use, and from then on their night time trysts take place there. Their relationship is secret although their best friends are aware of it. Even though it was Lee who wanted to keep their relationship hidden she is deeply hurt at the absence of any public gestures and really yearns for her classmates to know that Cross has in some ways chosen her.
Shortly before Spring Break they finally have sex, an experience they repeat on several middle of the night visits, and once in broad daylight in an empty classroom. After Speing Break, the intensity between them has dissipated. Cross visits at night just one more time, and questioning him about his absence causes a horrible, devastating argument that destroys their relationship but reveals to Lee that although she had believed Cross had no real interest in her he has actually come to know her very well.
She was worrying unnecessarily though and discovers that the New York Times are interested in writing an article about Ault, and Lee is one of the students to be interviewed. Lee realizes she is the token scholarship student and consequently her apprehension increases as she has never told anyone she is only able to attend Ault on a scholarship, although Martha has guessed but never mentions it to Lee.
Lee quickly becomes the most despised student at the school, taking refuge in her room away from others. Martha forces her to attend all of the celebrations of Senior Week, including chapel, where Conchita Maxwell delivers an address refuting everything Lee claims in her interview.
After this the hue and cry dies down and Lee is able to enjoy some aspects of graduation. As a thirty year old Lee realizes that her Ault experiences have stayed with her far more than she had imagined as she catches herself buying a shampoo because it was the one used by the popular girls at school. Lee has remained friends with Sin Jun and become good friends with Dede. She never sees Cross Sugerman again. This section is currently locked Someone from the community is currently working feverishly to complete this section of the study guide.
[PDF] Prep Book by Curtis Sittenfeld Free Download (420 pages)
In Stock Overview An insightful, achingly funny coming-of-age story as well as a brilliant dissection of class, race, and gender in a hothouse of adolescent angst and ambition. Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of—and, ultimately, a participant in—their rituals and mores.
The happiest days of your life? Come off it
Her mother, Elizabeth "Betsy" Curtis Bascom , is an art history teacher and librarian at Seven Hills School , a private school in Cincinnati, and her father, Paul George Sittenfeld, is an investment adviser. She is of "half-Catholic, half-Jewish" background. Some think Ault is a thinly veiled Groton School , but others say it is based on the two years Sittenfeld spent teaching at St. Albans School in Washington, D.