What Has Become of You

What Has Become of You

3.04 (501 ratings by Goodreads)
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What if a teacher s most promising pupil is also her most dangerous? A tautly plotted psychological thriller, as intelligent as it is mesmerizing "What Has Become of You" follows Vera Lundy, an aspiring crime writer and master of self-deprecation who, like many adults, has survived adolescence but hasn t entirely overcome it. When she agrees to fill in for a private school English teacher on maternity leave, teaching "The Catcher in the Rye" to privileged girls, Vera feels in over her head. The students are on edge, too, due to the recent murder of a local girl close to their age. Enter Jensen Willard. At fifteen she s already a gifted writer but also self-destructive and eerily reminiscent of Vera s younger self. As the two outcasts forge a tentative bond, a sense of menace enfolds their small New England town. When another student, new to the country, is imperiled by her beliefs, Vera finds herself in the vortex of danger and suspicion. With the threat of a killer at large, the disappearance of her increasingly worri-some pupil, and her own professional reputation at stake, Vera must thread her way among what is right by the law, by her students, and by herself. In this poignant page-turner, populated with beguiling characters and sharp social insights, coming-of-age can happen no matter how old you are."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 45.72mm | 544.31g
  • Dutton Books
  • United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0525954376
  • 9780525954378

Review quote

Praise for "What Has Become of You" "A shivery thriller" - "New York Times Book Review" "There are several reasons to recommend this book, not the least of which is the intricacy of the plot, which doesn't twist so much as winds and loops in ways that even if one may predict where it will go, the how is still surprising." - The Associated Press "Watson's twisty plot speeds with page-turning momentum, but what's likely to stick with you are the complex characters...who are, by turns, vulnerable, flawed, and surprising, bravely struggling to rewrite the stories of their lives." - "Publishers Weekly," starred review "A precocious teenager. A teacher who can't quite grow up. "What Has Become of You "is a suspenseful and tightly plotted thriller, filled with vivid and memorable characters, each with her own compelling voice." -Alafair Burke, author of "If You Were Here," "Long Gone," and the Ellie Hatcher series ""What has Become of You "could be used as a manual for teachers of adolescents: beware of the dangers of overwork, of identity loss, of the mistrust of authority. Jan Elizabeth Watson, our poet of the macabre, has written a moving, page-turning, and ultimately terrifying account of a few months in a great teacher's life. I'll never trust a teenager again!" --Bill Roorbach, author of "Life Among Giants" and "The Remedy for Love" "It takes a lot to creep me out--I spent my youth reading Stephen King under the covers--but Jan Elizabeth Watson has more than succeeded in this gripping literary thriller. Part gloss on "The Catcher in the Rye," part millennial "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," "What Has Become of You" is that rare beast: a page-turner that asks dark, difficult questions about the state of contemporary American society." -Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of "A Fortunate Age" "The power of "What Has Become of You" sneaks up on you, until you are turning the pages compulsively. Give yourself over to it. Yoshow more

About Jan Elizabeth Watson

JAN ELIZABETH WATSON received her MFA from Columbia University. Her first novel, "Asta in the Wings," was published by Tin House Books, a small literary press. She lives in Maine.show more

Rating details

501 ratings
3.04 out of 5 stars
5 8% (39)
4 24% (120)
3 40% (200)
2 22% (109)
1 7% (33)

Our customer reviews

Did I enjoy this book: Not really. I wasn’t that impressed with the plot, and though I could initially relate to Vera Lundy, I found her less and less likable as the story progressed. I understand Watson’s idea, and it’s a cool one: write a coming-of-age novel about an adult who just happened to skip that step during adolescence. The thing is — Vera Lundy’s displays of immaturity were more than just exasperating — they were downright inappropriate. Maybe I’m a stiff-necked goody two-shoes, but I can’t imagine ANYONE — no matter how immature or unintelligent they happen to be — would think that going alone to your underage student’s hotel room, sharing alcohol and cigarettes with her, and then walking home together in the dark is anywhere close to a good idea. I know people overindulge (heaven knows I’m guilty of it at times). I know people don’t always tell the whole truth, and I know that very intelligent, rational people sometimes make very, VERY bad choices. I just . . . I think instead of inching a toe over the line, Watson had Lundy vault over it and keep on running, and it ruined the book for me. Would I recommend it: Not so much. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.show more
by Chrissy
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