Sarah has taught high school in her hometown for years, and while she has faced challenges in her teaching career before, this year looks like it is going to take the cake. Her ex-husband, who left her with three small children for an medical internship in Switzerland, and cheated on her with another woman is returning to take a job in town. This circumstance brings up many difficult feelings for Sarah, as she tries to shepherd her youngest daughter Jenny through her first year of high school. Jenny is painfully shy, and desperate to find friends and acceptance. In addition, one of her students is determined to dominate her debate team and classroom. Their little power struggle turns into a dangerous game of revenge.
In Annette Haws bio she identifies herself as an experienced teacher and that experience come out in her writing about the classroom. Having teaching experience myself I related to the realistic portrayal of classroom politics, and conflict. In several parts of the novel I disapproved of the main characters actions, but always understood them. She isn’t perfect, and makes huge mistakes that she ultimately has to pay for, but she also is a determined, intelligent woman with a quirky sense of humor. The conflict in this story makes it hard put the book down, and I read through it quickly. I felt like a few chapters in the end were confusing and unclear, and some of the scenes could have used a little bit of clarifying, but over all this was a really enjoyable book, with consistent characterization, an engaging plot, and a meaningful read.