A compelling, character driven thriller set on a breezeblock university campus, The Truants is a very modern coming-of-age tale. Incorporating issues of belonging and toxic friendships within a fast-moving, wire-taut narrative, Weinberg’s impressive debut carries echoes of The Secret History whilst very much retaining its own identity.
Jess Walker, middle child of a middle class family, has perfected the art of vanishing in plain sight. But when she arrives at a concrete university campus under flat, grey, East Anglian skies, her world flares with colour.
Drawn into a tightly-knit group of rule breakers – led by their maverick teacher, Lorna Clay – Jess begins to experiment with a new version of herself. But the dynamic between the friends begins to darken as they share secrets, lovers and finally a tragedy. Soon Jess is thrown up against the question she fears most: what is the true cost of an extraordinary life?