By Ben Williams
Many of you know our classmate Anthony S. “Tony” Abbott, former chair of the English department at Davidson College. Tony is a highly regarded author who has received numerous awards and distinctions for his literary accomplishments. His 2003 novel, “Leaving Maggie Hope,” was published to wide acclaim. Its sequel, “The Three Great Secret Things,” was published recently.
The novel chronicles David Lear’s transition and subsequent transformations which occur in the course of his secondary school years. It is far more than a delightful, captivating read. Tony Abbott has given us a mirror into ourselves. One cannot help but identify with the principal characters- David Lear and Tracy Warren. These two illustrate all the contradictions of youth – strength and vulnerability, spontaneity and reserve, conviction and uncertainty, insight and ignorance, courage and timidity, generosity and self-centeredness, doubt and, most of all, hope. David and Tracy are both extraordinary and utterly believable because we, too, at one time or another, have experienced many of their trials, successes, failures and fantasies. This is particularly the case for those ho attended single sex boarding schools in the 50s. Regardless, “The Three Great Secret Things” is a novel that anyone can relate to simply because we all had to grow up.
Tony’s command of the language alone is reason to read this book. It is a beautifully written, poignant story. Furthermore, it raises questions about values, relationships, responsibilities and character that are as relevant today as they ever were.
The book was published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company, Charlotte, North Carolina. Additional information is available on Tony’s website, Copies may be obtained directly via the publisher’s website,, then click on new releases. I urge you not to pass up this opportunity.

Ben was a prep school master and headmaster.