A stylish debut set in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old boy prep schools and exclusive sailing clubs. Perfect for readers who adore American fiction in the vein of The Secret History by Donna Tartt and The Privileges by Jonathan Dee.
It is the summer of 1987. Jason Prosper is eighteen and on his way to Bellingham Academy, a school known for offering wayward privileged students a second chance - and Jason needs a second chance: ever since his best friend's suicide, his life has been badly adrift.
At Bellingham, Jason joins the sailing team, and meets a compelling young woman called Aidan. His friends warn him off, saying she is 'damaged goods'. But Jason feels like damaged too, and the pair form an intense connection.
But when a major hurricane gathers just off the coast, Jason's world begins to cloud over again. And when the full extent of the storm's damage is finally revealed, the truths it lays bare - and the secrets it dredges up - look set to alter the course of Jason life forever.
The Starboard Sea is a touching, beautiful and deeply wise novel, a hymn to the bittersweet glories of youth. You will be enthralled.
Dermont is a confident stylist, musical and alliterative. - Independent on Sunday
Dermont measures out the stories behind Jason's twin tragedies coolly, without altering the pace of her well-crafted narrative. - Financial Times
Utterly convincing. - Daily Mail
Writing that will give you goosebumps...written in sparse yet evocative language...Aidan and Jason's tragic stories will stay with you. - Psychologies Magazine
With unflinching wit, Amber Dermont examines the harsh vicissitudes of life, and though the worlds she creates are often unsettling places, her sense of detail always makes for a pleasurable read. There is a vibrant lucidity to her language, a daring music...Her characters are simultaneously able to articulate their pain, pass judgment on their own behavior and pardon themselves for their transgressions. - Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize and Orange Prize winning author of Gilead and Home
...engrossing...captivating and inspired. Jason is a fiercely likeable first-person narrator and romantic hero. The steady, restrained unmasking of Jason's history...is one of the novel's many achievements....Dermont adeptly charts the fine calibrations of teenage love and shame and belonging. - The New York Times
Dermont draws the tony campus life in "The Starboard Sea" with an insider's hand... Jason has been compared to Nick Carraway for his sober narration and keen sensitivity to the decadence of his peers, and in more than a few instances "The Starboard Sea" feels like a distant cousin of "The Great Gatsby. - The Washington Post