Tradition by Brendan Kiely is a topical dual narrative about rape culture and toxic masculinity. The book is set in Fullbrook Academy, an elite prep school where history looms in the leafy branches over its brick walkways. Fullbrook’s traditions are sacred. But they hide dark and dangerous secrets. The story is told from the perspectives of students Jules and Jamie. Jules is in her senior year with one goal: to get out and start her life at college. Jamie is a sports star on a scholarship; Fullbrook is his chance to escape his past. After a school party ends in disaster, the two of them discover a terrible truth and that ‘tradition’, a word Fullbrook hides behind, can be ugly and even violent. Poignant, powerful and gripping, Tradition is a timely novel that explores the insidious nature of tradition and the effects of toxic masculinity.
‘In the midst of our cultural reckoning with abuse of power, sexual harassment, and the meaning of consent, I wanted to write about the strength of women who stand up and speak out about misogyny and, especially as a man writing this novel, I wanted to ask, “How can men be better feminists?’ said Brendan Kiely.
About the book
“Why would I ever want to stay here? The place was full of lies, and maybe the worst lie of all was the one they told themselves. That Fullbrook was some kind of paradise nestled in the hills of New England.”
Jules, a feminist activist is in her senior year brimming with the hope for a bright future and determined to raze the privilege based politics and discrimination.
Jamie is a talented sportsman on a quest to shed his dark past with Fullbrook’s scholarship being his only chance at redemption.
The Fullbrook Academy is ruled by the popular and powerful where the student life is laced with sacred traditions. This prestigious institution oozes money and elitism. The catastrophic consequences of these create massive turbulence in Jules and Jamie’s life when they realize the disaster unleashed in an annual school party couched in havoc. This is a powerful narrative of violation, dominance and courage.
Will they survive against Fullbrook’s glorified and misogynist traditions?
About Brendan Kiely
Brendan Kiely is the New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, andThe Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, was twice awarded Best Fiction for Young Adults (2015, 2017) by the American Library Association, and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in New York City.