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Publisher's Summary

A teacher at a New England prep school ignites a gender war - with deadly consequences - in this dark and provocative novel by the best-selling author of The Passenger

“Suspenseful and utterly riveting!” (Tess Gerritsen)

When Alexandra Witt joins the faculty at Stonebridge Academy, she’s hoping to put a painful past behind her. Then one of her creative writing assignments generates some disturbing responses from students. Before long, Alex is immersed in an investigation of the students atop the school’s social hierarchy - and their connection to something called the Darkroom. She soon inspires the girls who’ve started to question the school’s “boys will be boys” attitude and incites a resistance. But just as the movement is gaining momentum, Alex attracts the attention of an unknown enemy who knows a little too much about her - and what brought her to Stonebridge in the first place. 

Meanwhile, Gemma, a defiant senior, has been plotting her attack for years, waiting for the right moment. Shy loner Norman hates his role in the Darkroom, but can’t find the courage to fight back until he makes an unlikely alliance. And then there’s Finn Ford, an English teacher with a shady reputation, who keeps one eye on his literary ambitions and one on Ms. Witt. As the school’s secrets begin to trickle out, a boys-versus-girls skirmish turns into an all-out war, with deeply personal - and potentially fatal - consequences for everyone involved. 

Lisa Lutz’s blistering, timely tale of revenge and disruption shows us what can happen when silence wins out over decency for too long - and why the scariest threat of all might be the idea that sooner or later, girls will be girls. 

Cast of Narrators:
Abby Elliot as Gemma Russo
Lisa Flanagan as Ms. Witt
Ari Fliakos as Mr. Ford
Michael Crouch as Norman Crowley
and with Johnny Heller reading The Announcements 

Advance praise for The Swallows

“Wes Anderson meets Muriel Spark in this delicious and vicious battle of the sexes set within a private school. Wickedly fun and wildly subversive but packing an emotional punch, The Swallows is as powerful as it is timely.” (Nationally best-selling author Megan Abbott) 

“Sharpen your axes, ladies, and get ready for this fierce, fun, unsparing novel of female rage, power, and friendship.” (Camille Perri, author of The Assistants and When Katie Met Cassidy)

©2019 Lisa Lutz (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“In her witty and charming style, Lutz offers a genre-busting work of fiction that will satisfy readers looking for a seriously engaging read. The story itself is disturbingly plausible, and the humanly flawed characters make choices, good and bad, based on their backgrounds, all blending smoothly into a darkly comedic mystery . . . . This novel keeps readers on the edge of their seats while opening a conversation about public shaming, economic privilege, gender inequity, and revenge versus justice.” (Booklist, starred review)

“Lutz draws on the droll humor and idiosyncratic characterizations that make her Spellman novels so appealing . . . . An offbeat, darkly witty pre-#MeToo revenge tale. The patriarchy doesn’t stand a chance.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“[Lutz] takes no prisoners . . . . She builds her plot cannily and walks a neat line between satire and realism [in a] withering portrayal of how the #MeToo movement plays out in this rarefied setting.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Swallows

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Impressive!

Very fresh. Original and well plotted with characters you will like and hate and everything in between. The build up is great and interesting with no blah hurry up and get there moments. It's a book to savor and enjoy. Good job Ms. Lutz!

3 people found this helpful

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Lisa Lutz kicks butt!!

This was an excellent book. a stunning commentary of teen life in the digital age. The characters resonate, the dialogue is clear and carries the story along. Interesting organization no “chapters” per se, just different perspectives from students and teachers in a private school. Once you start it you won’t want to stop.

3 people found this helpful

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fileting ,,,is pronounced ," fill aye ing"

Not f"ill et ing,". so tired of narrators making mistakes made lrwhen reading simple words. Valet is NOT pronounced 'val lets' - are these thing actually LISTENED to before they are sold?! awful narration,, half a dozen errors. Regarding book - not my cup of tea (if you are not interested in hearing about girls blackmailed into performing oral sex, it might not be yours either.

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Immaturish & Absurd Teenage Debauchery

I wasn’t aware what I was getting myself into with this book. I purchased it only because I’ve listened to nearly everything Ari Fliakos has narrated and was running out of titles. I cannot believe this story was so highly rated. It’s not only raunchy, which I wouldn’t mind if used in the right context, but it was just a stupid storyline. Immaturish and absurd. I white-knuckled my way through 2/3 hoping against hope it would get better - but finally resolved not to waste any more hours of my life on this garbage. I cannot believe what garners a book deal these days. Ugh.

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Love Lisa Lutz

The characters in her books are always so interesting. The teens’ story is not for the prudish but very believable.

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Good! Pulls you in and your engaged the whole time!

Listened to it in a day, really good, attention grabbing. Enjoy the multiple view points.

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Great narration!

Enjoyed the book and how it builds the story. Wish it had developed more the caracters.

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Excellent narration

The cast of narrators did an amazing job and the story is a lot like a lifetime movie which made this a very entertaining listen.

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Similar to "13 Reasons Why"

If you're into that sort of thing, perhaps you'll like it more than me. Writing: actually very good (it's certainly not boring) Genre: teenage sexual conquests, horny teachers, and objectified schoolgirls? Seeing that this book is labeled "Humor", it's definitely not funny. That's something you want to know going into it. It's mostly heartbreaking. It reads like a mystery novel from several points of view (multiple readers).

1 person found this helpful

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Good but implausible

The lack of supervision of teenagers at a private academy was a bit hard to believe. There were just a lot of things that were implausible. But other than that it was a good listen and I liked the narrators.