The English Teacher

The English Teacher

A Novel

Book - 2005 | 1st ed
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Baker & Taylor
A single mother has sheltered her son for many years at the private school where she works as an English teacher, but she is beginning to unravel as secrets from her past catch up with her.

Blackwell North Amer
Fifteen years ago Vida Avery arrived from Texas alone and pregnant at Fayer Academy. She has since become a fixture and one of the best English teachers Fayer has ever had. By living on campus, on an island off the New England coast, Vida has cocooned herself and her son, Peter, from the outside world and from an inside secret. For years she has lived in solitude and largely through the books she teaches, but when she accepts the impulsive marriage proposal of ardent widower Tom Belou, the prescribed life Vida had constructed is swiftly dismantled.
Peter, however, welcomes the changes. Excited to move off campus, eager to have siblings at last, Peter anticipates a regular life with a "normal" family. But the Belou children are still grieving, and the memory of their recently deceased mother exerts a powerful hold on the house. As Vida begins teaching her signature book, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, a nineteenth-century tale of an ostracized woman and social injustice, its themes begin to echo eerily in her own life and Peter sees that the mother he perceived as indomitable is collapsing and it is up to him to help.
The English Teacher is a passionate tale of a mother and son's vital bond and a provocative look at our notions of intimacy, honesty, loyalty, family, and the real meaning of home.

Baker
& Taylor

The author of The Pleasing Hour offers a moving novel of a single mother who has sheltered her son for many years at the private school where she works as an English teacher but who is beginning to unravel as secrets from her past catch up with her.

Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780871138972
0871138972
Branch Call Number: Fiction KING,L
Characteristics: 244 p. ; 24 cm

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AlteredStaite
Apr 19, 2017

The writing is good. One sticks with it to the end. Don't know what this says about the reader.

This is the second novel of Lily King's I've read hoping the 'heroine' would off herself and let all the people she's been abusing get on with their lives and find some happiness.

Why does this author write about dysfunctional and somewhat abusive but "wildly attractive" (according to her) women who have some terrible secret to hide from their distant past that makes them irresistible to decent men and children?

I'm tempted but determined to stay away from The Pleasing Hour until I've read something positive and uplifting beforehand.

m
MajorMajorX2
Feb 07, 2016

This is the third Lily King book I've read, kicked off after reading Euphoria, DPL's Community Read. It is interesting reading her books in reverse chronological order. Euphoria is by far the best of the three I've read so far, and you can see some commons themes throughout all of them. Strong but flawed female characters, alcoholism, teachers, sex, etc.

I wasn't sure I liked this book as I started reading it. The getting married and then having a breakdown thing often bores me. I've just read it too often. However, the breakdown and the aftermath actually go somewhere new and interesting, with a plot twist I saw coming a long ways off but that was still interesting when it happened. I like this one better than Father of the Rain but not as much as Euphoria.

prkmbc Sep 10, 2011

February 2006

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