Oligarchy: A Novel
From the author of The Seed Collectors comes a darkly comic take on power, privilege, and the pressure put on young women to fit in—and be thin—at their all-girls boarding school
It’s already the second week of term when Natasha, the daughter of a Russian oligarch, arrives at a vast English country house for her first day of boarding school. She soon discovers that the headmaster gives special treatment to the skinniest girls, and Tash finds herself thrown into the school’s unfamiliar, moneyed world of fierce pecking orders, eating disorders, and Instagram angst.
The halls echo with the story of Princess Augusta, the White Lady whose portraits—featuring a hypnotizing black diamond—hang everywhere and whose ghost is said to haunt the dorms. It’s said that she fell in love with a commoner and drowned herself in the lake. But the girls don’t really know anything about the woman she was, much less anything about one another. When Tash’s friend Bianca mysteriously vanishes, the routines of the school seem darker and more alien than ever before. Tash must try to stay alive—and sane—while she uncovers what’s really going on.
Darkly hilarious, Oligarchy is Heathers for the digital age, a Prep populated with the teenage children of the European elite, exploring youth, power, and affluence. Scarlett Thomas captures the lives of these privileged young women, in all their triviality and magnitude, seeking acceptance and control in a manipulative world.
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