“Announces a dazzling new voice in American fiction."— Jennifer Egan, bestselling author of Manhattan Beach
St. James is an exclusive New England boarding school known for grooming generations of leaders. Ben Weeks is a true insider: his ancestors helped found St. James, his older brother taught him all the slang, and he’s just won a national championship in squash. But his parents have gone bankrupt and can’t pay his tuition, and his roommate Ahmed Al-Khaled, the son of a fabulously wealthy Dubai sheik, can’t navigate the unspoken rules of New England blue bloods.
Both boys arrive at the school in the last days before the internet age, determined to become the ideal St. James man, the ideal American leader. But even as Ben & Ahmed struggle to prove themselves in the place they’ve revered for so long, they begin to doubt its worth.
The Expectations is at once a finely drawn portrait of American privilege and a subtle exploration of class, race, and tradition. Above all, it is a tender, sharp, and evocative debut about the pain and treachery of adolescence, and the difficulty--wherever one finds oneself--of truly belonging.