In honor of April being National Poetry Month, I’ve chosen to highlight the William C. Morris Debut Finalist, Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard.
Set in 1982, Alex is a High School Junior at an exclusive boarding school in North Carolina. One drunken night, Alex and his friends make some terrible choices that lead to the accidental drowning of schoolmate Thomas. In an attempt to conceal the nature of the accident, more terrible choices are made. Alex narrates the repercussions of those past events, as his guilt and grief linger in the present.
Miss Dovecott, the object of every students’ fantasies, may be aware that there is more to the story than the boys are letting on. Faced with coming clean and facing the truth, Alex and his friends perpetuate their lies with dire consequences.
Paper Covers Rock is more that a little reminiscent of John Knowles’ classic boarding school/accidental death tale, A Separate Peace. Hubbard cleverly weaves literary references to Moby Dick, the metaphor of all metaphors.