Joanna Goodman






 “Suspenseful….If your guilty-pleasure reads include boarding schools, secret societies, murder, and scandal, this one’s for you.” 


The Finishing School plunges the reader headfirst into a fast-paced, nail-biting mystery that also manages to explore friendship, love, adolescence, family and motherhood. By the time you reach the unexpected ending, you’ll practically be gasping for air.” 

Jessica Anya Blau 

The Finishing School pulls back the curtain to expose a fascinating world of desire, betrayal, and dangerous secrets.” 

Lou Berney 

“A compelling tale of horrific teenage secrets inside the walls of an elite school in Switzerland, unearthed with verve and sly irony. ” 

Deborah Lawrenson 

HarperCollins US April 2017 


De Fontein Dutch 2018 






The Finishing School


 In this provactive novel of friendship, secrets, and deceit, a successful writer returns to her elite Swiss boarding school to get to the bottom of a tragic accident that took place 20 years earlier. 

One spring night in 1998, the beautiful Cressida Strauss plunges from a fourth-floor balcony at the Lycée Internationale Suisse with catastrophic consequences. Loath to draw negative publicity to the school, a bastion of wealth and glamour, officials quickly dismiss the incident as an accident. But questions remain. Was it a suicide attempt? Or was Cressida pushed? 

Cressida’s selfish streak had earned as many enemies as allies in her tenure at the school. For her best friend Kersti Kuusk, the questions nag. 

Kersti marries and becomes a bestselling writer, but never stops wondering about Cressida’s unaccountable obsession with the Helvetian Society --a secret club banned years before their arrival at the school— and the pair of its members who were expelled. When Kersti is invited as a guest to the Lycée’s 100th anniversary, she begins probing the cover-up, unearthing a frightening underbelly of lies and abuse at the prestigious establishment. In one portentous moment, Kersti makes a decision that will connect her to Cressida forever and raise the stakes dangerously high in her own desire to solve the mystery and redeem her past. 

The Finishing School is as clever as it is compelling. It is a riveting glimpse into a privileged rarefied world in which nothing is as it appears. 


Joanna Goodman is the author of three acclaimed novels. She lives in Toronto with her two children and her husband where they operate upscale retail linen shops Au Lit.