At St. Stephen's Academy, the students are on the verge of revolt. While the younger boys plot an insurrection, the older ones are preoccupied with sneaking out-of-bounds, thrashing each other, tearing each other's clothes off or some combination of the three.
Morgan Wilberforce, for one, can't take it any longer. Everything he touches turns to disaster in his desperate attempts to fight off desire, boredom, and angst. He knocks himself unconscious tackling the unattainable Spaulding on the rugby pitch, his headmaster detests him for crimes committed years ago, and even his closest friends are subjecting him to physical tortures normally reserved for juniors. And when an accident at the boarding school leaves Wilberforce with more suffering than he could have fathomed, he finds himself alone and adrift. Stylishly inventive, Wilberforce is an indelible portrait of a young man caught between lust and cruelty, grief and God, frustrated love and abject longing and a tour de force that heralds the arrival of a brilliant novelist.