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Bishop's Hill Academy in rural New Hampshire is a school in crisis. Once a highly regarded preparatory school for the rich and elite, it is now a dumping ground for troubled teens. The teachers are unqualified, unenthusiastic, and spend more time hitting the students than educating them. A new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, enters the chaotic scene, but is immediately outcast from the tight-knit faculty. Hawthorne is obsessed with the idea of turning the school around--and we soon find out why. His family died in a fire purportedly set by a disturbed teenager back in San Diego. Mentally and physically scarred, Hawthorne sees Bishop's Hill as an opportunity to get back to "physical reality," and save some adolescent psyches. But it is his own mental state that is soon put to the test as he becomes the nucleus of a hate campaign and is forced to relive the terrible memories of the fire.
It seems that everyone in the school has a secret to hide--from the cook Frank LeBrun who enjoys placing sharp tacks in his recipes to Chip Campbell, a history teacher who has taken one too many liberties with the school's funds.
Dobyns paints a foreboding landscape of dilapidated buildings and neglected children--a place where a 15-year-old girl plots to kill her father, a place where teachers abuse students, a place where a young boy is found dead in a swimming pool. As a snowstorm cuts off the isolated community, the exiled headmaster is forced into a final showdown with the school's omnipotent evil.
Boy in the Water is an entertaining but ultimately disturbing read. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I really liked Dobyns other 2 books that I read - but I had a difficult time with this one.
Hawthorne takes a job as head of a private school with mostly children who have... Read more
If this were a just world, Stephen Dobyns' "The Church of Dead Girls" would enjoy the critical and popular acclaim accorded to "The Silence of the Lambs," while "Lambs" would be a... Read morePublished on May 2, 2012 by jonathan briggs
i like the ending and the characters. i wont say much to kill the suspense. it is a good book. i recommend itPublished on June 6, 2009 by I. Wong
Set in rural New Hampshire, Boy In The Water centers around Jim Hawthorne, a respected psychologist with a tragic past, and his attempt to save Bishop's Hill, a rundown private... Read morePublished on March 19, 2007 by acwrite
Dobyns manages to write a thriller that engages the reader in ways that put most thrillers to shame. Read morePublished on June 5, 2006 by Tim Lieder
It doesn't quite come up to "The Church of Dead Girls," but Stephen Dobyns has a knack for giving us characterization, description and plot. Read morePublished on July 17, 2005 by John R. Lindermuth
I wonder why people who really want to write screenplays try to disguise them as novels. "Boy in the Water" is a "novel" to be read by airplane passengers who have already seen... Read morePublished on November 16, 2004 by Dwight E. Weber
I love the first couple of chapters in this book-- the writing is incredible in these chapters. I could visualize everything perfectly. Read morePublished on March 5, 2003 by amanda
As is customary in Dobyns'work, it is the characters who capture your imagination. That is true in this volume as well, however, there are also uncommon devices in the presentation... Read morePublished on September 9, 2002 by M. J. Smith