This is my second favorite book. I've read it to my son. It really talks a lot about what is our bargain with the world. How do we grow up?
Here's the publisher's description of the book:
Gene was a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas was a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happened between them at school one summer during the early years of World War II is the subject of A Separate Peace. A great bestseller for over thirty years--one of the most starkly moving parables ever written of the dark forces that brood over the tortured world of adolescence.