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Growing up in a sleepy Canadian town with parents who adore her, it’s difficult to understand why Frances is the way she is. Friendless, manipulative and at times very cruel, she reveres her father, yet resents her mother. Aloof and strange, she is a mystery to all who know her.
Following a disastrous fourteenth birthday, and after her grandmother is found dead in the bathtub, Frances is sent away to boarding school. The Academy is an institution rife with teenage rivalry, secret rendezvous and budding friendships. But it is also a place where routines, rules and boundaries are enforced. It is here alone for the first time that Frances is forced to confront the true nature of her fallacious, white-picket-fence life.
Intertwined with Frances’s narrative is that of her father, whose own childhood was riddled with secrets and burdens. As the two stories morph into one, we discover the truth about a young girl entering adulthood under the smoky weight of a terrible secret; of a life stolen and rediscovered and the fluid, easily traversed boundary between perversity and normality.