Coming July 2, 2019 from Riverhead Books


A smart, juicy, compulsively readable novel of parental ambition, social pressure, and privilege. Perfect for fans of Celeste Ng, Tom Perrotta, Nick Hornby, and Liane Moriarty.

Good schools, stately houses, safe neighborhoods, all set against a beautiful landscape. What else could a family want? It was with high hopes for the future that four young couples separately chose Crystal, Colorado as the place to raise their children over a decade ago. Finding each other as friends further buoyed them over the ensuing years, as they juggled the stresses of parenthood, careers, and marriage. Even now, as the kids head for middle school, their individual interests and abilities becoming more and more distinct, the group of families has remained tight. But when an exclusive new school is introduced into the mix - an elite new standard to meet - it represents, at long last, one pressure too many.

Gradually, throughout the community, cracks begin to form, and spread. As children are pitted against each other for coveted spots in the school, their parents shock themselves with the lengths they are secretly willing to go in the pursuit of prestige and recognition. Soon, long-buried resentments arise between friends and spouses alike, as ever more toxic instincts keep emerging. And the most shattering secret of all still lies waiting to be exposed.

The Gifted School is a smart, knowing, wickedly entertaining novel that at once provokes, skewers, and forgives, loves and understands its keenly observed characters. A riveting tale of parenting and privilege, custom-made for our culture. 

Advance Praise for The Gifted School


"Holsinger's pitch is close to perfect. The subject of parents charging past every ethical restraint in pursuit of crème de la crème education could not be more timely . . . a deliciously repulsive and eerily current page-turner."

 -  Kirkus Starred Review

"The Gifted School is a consuming story . . . an insular epic that questions the notion of meritocracy, the hypocrisy of white liberalism, and the politics that trickle from the adult world down to their children."

   - The Paris Review


"This addictive novel digs hard into the culture of striving parents and anxious children, exploring privilege, competition and the elusiveness of happiness. A deeply pleasurable read."

  - Meg Wolitzer, New York Times-bestselling author of The Interestings and The Female Persuasion

“I LOVED THIS NOVEL. Pitch perfect, razor sharp, compulsively readable and rich with delicious detail, this darkly funny satire combines the gimlet-eyed world view of Jonathan Franzen with the propulsive narration of Liane Moriarty. I can’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed a novel as much.”

  - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Orphan Train