A good teacher can change lives…
Every evening, Allison watches her husband’s new house, desperate to find some answers. Every morning, she puts on a brave face to teach kindergarten. She’s a good teacher, everyone says so – this stalking is just a tiny crack in her usual self-control.
A late enrolment into her class brings little Gracie. Allison takes the sick girl under her wing, smothering Gracie with the love she can’t give her own son. When Gracie has a chance to go to America for treatment, Allison whips up the community into a frenzied fundraising drive.
But as others start to question her judgement and the police arrive at her door, Allison wonders if she can trust herself. Has she crossed a line?
How far will the good teacher go to save a life? And whose life will that be?
To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure about this book to start with, and it took me a little while to get into. Then, suddenly it grabbed me and blew my mind, and I couldn’t put it down (I read it over 2 or 3 days). My favourite part was right in the middle of the book, where I had no idea what was happening or what to think, and I made guess after guess at what would happen next! I also really liked seeing the way that the different story threads we were introduced to at the start came together – this felt really clever to me.
I thought Alison made a great unreliable narrator for the book. she has so much going on, and is so insecure and uncertain, that it is really hard to figure out which bits are really happening versus being imagined, and I liked what this added to the way the reader views the story. I wasn’t crazy about one of the characters’ storyline being quite focused on weight and people ‘living their best life’ by losing weight, BUT much of the book is set around a gym, and I feel like this aspect was done purposefully and mindfully, and had a role in the story unfolding.
Apart from having my mind blown, this book gave me quite a lot of feelings! There are some pretty heavy topics/themes touched on, and I did find it quite moving at times.
I didn’t quite get to Petronella’s first book Six Minutes when it come out (last year?), but I’m keen to check it out after reading this! I know it’s not necessarily very original to say so, but this did feel like a good one for fans of Jane Harper and Lianne Moriarty. I think it would make a great weekend read if you’re going away – or staycationing – over the school holidays, or summer!
The Good Teacher by Petronella McGovern
Out now from Allen & Unwin
Source: Review copy sent to me by the team at Allen & Unwin (thank you!) All views are my own.
Category: Australian contemporary thriller/domestic drama
Format: Paperback (416 pages)