The Rehearsal is a first novel by Eleanor Catton, and was originally published as a paperback by Victoria University Press in New Zealand in 2008. Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in Canterbury, New Zealand. She won New Zealand’s Adam Prize in Creative Writing for The Rehearsal, her first novel. She was also awarded the 2007 New Zealand Sunday Star-Times short-story competition prize, the 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the 2008 Louis Johnson New Writers’ Bursary. Currently, she lives in Iowa. Reviews of this book have been outstanding, although some have commented that while it is intellectually extremely clever, it does not succeed in fully capturing the reader's heart as well as their mind. The UK edition has just been released and is likely to do extremely well.
A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. The sudden and total publicity seems to turn every act into a performance and every platform into a stage. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theater are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve. "The Rehearsal" is an exhilarating and provocative novel about the unsimple mess of human desire, at once a tender evocation of its young protagonists and a shrewd expose of emotional compromise.