Charming Young Man
From New York Times bestselling author Eliot Schrefer comes an exuberant YA historical coming-of-age novel about a rising star French pianist navigating his way into high society as he explores his sexuality. Perfect for fans of Last Night at the Telegraph Club and The Gentleman’s Gide to Vice and Virtue.
It all started with a boy who loved the piano . . .
They say Léon Delafosse will be France’s next great pianist. As a sixteen-year-old from a small country town, he knows making that happen will keep his family afloat. Even though he’s the youngest student ever accepted into the prestigious Paris Conservatory, there’s no way for an impoverished musician to make his way in 1890s Paris without an outside patron to pave his way.
A young gossip columnist named Marcel Proust takes Léon under his wing, using the beautiful teenager as his own entrance key into high society. As the boys game their way through an extravagant new world, Marcel opens unexpected doors. When the larger-than-life Count Robert de Montesquiou-Fézensac offers his patronage, Léon’s dreams are made real. But the more absorbed he is into dreams of becoming France’s next great thing, the more he strays from the old country life he shared with his mother, his sister, Charlotte, and his best friend, Félix . . . a boy he might love. With each choice Léon makes, he must navigate a fine line between two worlds—or risk losing it all.
Eliot Schrefer is a New York Times bestselling author, has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, and has won the Green Earth Book Award and the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award for Children’s Literature. His novels include the Lost Rainforest series, Endangered, Threatened, Rescued, Orphaned, and two books in the Spirit Animals series. He lives in New York City, is on the faculty of the Hamline University and Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA in creative writing programs, and reviews books for USA Today.
“Charming Young Man is a gorgeous exploration of artistic talent and envy, wealth and power, art and desire wrapped up in a delicious, page-turner of a plot. I absolutely loved it.”
-Nina LaCour, author of Michael L. Printz Award–winner We Are Okay
“The author creates an intimate, sensitive, gay coming-of-age story. Beautifully realized and a pleasure to read.” -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Schrefer masterfully portrays Léon’s inner world, full of self-doubt and desperation (alongside dreamy moments at the piano), within a suspenseful story of high personal stakes.” -Booklist (starred review)
“Schrefer’s Léon Delafosse, who is based on the real French pianist of the same name, is not only likable, but sensitive and resilient, and his perseverance amid dramatic ups and downs on his path toward happiness is engaging.” -Publishers Weekly
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