Author: R.M. Anderson
The Good Teacher is a small town story of secrets and scandals. It’s a story that I enjoyed and it kept me turning pages but after awhile it also started to seem a little over the top as it slid further and further into soap opera territory.
Stony Creek is a tiny farming town with a primary school that is just hanging in there. A primary school that employs one teacher (the principal) and casuals but has trouble filling the position. The P&C are passionate and want the best education possible for their children and the children of the town; because not all of the P&C still have children at the school.
I’m not sure you can really say there was a main character; there was a cast of leads and they all took their turns to tell the story in their own chapters. The timeline seemed very jumpy because of this, sometimes we got the same events from different perspectives.
The new principal applied for the job as a way to distance himself from his ex, not really looking to further his career because he’s a bit of a coaster. He’s good at his job more because he’s good with kids than any passion for teaching. Brock Kelly, the principal, is a character I quite liked. He was pretty self-aware and recognised his patterns and his shortfalls; and he chose to learn and grow from them. He found that passion for teaching and really wanted to settle in to make a difference in the lives of these kids.
Stony Creek is a tiny town, not a small town. The school is small enough that it’s on the brink of extinction and the department would be more than happy to close it down but the P&C are determined to keep their school open.
Tiny town with a P&C that basically runs the school and you know that they all thrive on gossip. Tiny towns have a great sense of community but they also have an amazing grapevine and a nose for scandal, not to mention long memories.
It’s not really a spoiler for me to tell you that the married P&C president has unexpected hot sex with the principal just before a P&C meeting because it’s in the blurb on the back of the book. The consequences are far reaching and they touch the entire town. One hot encounter sets off a domino effect that triggers many events that may not have otherwise occurred and the entire town is on the brink of explosion.
This is another book compared to Big Little Lies, and also to The Teacher’s Secret. Unlike those novels The Good Teacher gives you the whole story from the outset and it’s just a case of how it’s all going to play out.
The Teacher’s Secret is a book that I quite enjoyed but it did seem to get a little over the top at times. The scandals were all over the place and everyone seemed to have secrets to hide.
Mack was a character that I really loved. He is the patriarch of one of the farming families who has been put out to pasture. He has moved into a little cottage of his own on the property where for the most part he seems to be out of sight, out of mind. He is getting older and his age is certainly affecting him but he is still sharp as a tack and doesn’t miss much. He has his own theories about all that’s going on just by sitting on his porch and observing the movement of people on the stretch of road near his place.
The Good Teacher is a scandalous look at small town shenanigans and the long term affect on the town. It was in turns absurd, amusing and compelling; certainly an author I will look forward to reading again.