Joe Gibson


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Gallery UK
20 July 2023
ISBN: 9781398522473
368 pages

From the publisher

'A powerful tale of lost youth' - Guardian

'Engaging and engrossing, frank and frankly troubling, Seventeen is a book not easily forgotten' - Karen Joy Fowler

'A magnificent and, at times, terrifying book' - John Boyne

'So compelling and shocking that to read it is to have it seared on to you. I felt like I was there. As gripping a memoir as you’ll find' - David Whitehouse

‘A truly impressive and important book’ - Ali Millar

'A vivid and moving story, grippingly told' - Alex Renton

'I was addicted to this book' - Lily Dunn

'Gripping [...] a powerful read' - Lucy Nichol

It’s 1992. Like every other seventeen-year-old boy, Joe has one eye on his studies, the other on his social life – smoking, Britpop, girls. He’s looking ahead to a gap year full of travel and adventure before university when his teacher – attractive, mid-thirties – takes an interest in him. It seems like a fantasy come true.

For his final two years at school, he is bound to her, a woman twice his age, in an increasingly tangled web of coercion, sex and lies. Their affair, a product of complex grooming and a shocking abuse of authority, is played out in the corridors of one of Britain’s major private schools, under the noses of people who suspected, even knew, but said nothing.

Thirty years on, this is Joe’s gripping record of the illicit relationship that dominated his adolescence and dictated the course of his life. With a heady dose of nineties nostalgia and the perfectly captured mood of those final months at school, Joe charts the enduring legacy of deceit and the indelibility of decisions made at seventeen.