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The English Teacher

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The English Teacher

evaluări:
3.5/5 (7 evaluări)
Lungime:
289 pages
4 hours
Lansat:
Dec 1, 2007
ISBN:
9781555846640
Format:
Carte

Descriere

From the author of The Pleasing Hour: A “moving and deeply absorbing” novel of painful truths and the refuge of fiction set in a New England prep school (Newsday).
 
A Chicago Tribune and Publishers Weekly Best Novel
 
Fifteen years ago, English teacher Vida Avery arrived alone and pregnant at the elite Fayer Academy. Living on the campus off the coast of New England, she worked to become a beloved fixture of the school—and to shelter herself and her son, Peter, from a painful secret she left behind.
 
Then she accepts the impulsive marriage proposal of ardent widower Tom Belou, and the prescribed life Vida has constructed begins to come apart. As Peter bonds with Tom and his new stepsiblings, Vida retreats further into the books she teaches. To embrace life and a chance at happiness, she will have to face the nightmares of her former self—and shed the pain she has held onto for far too long.
 
Following her multiple award-winning debut, The Pleasing Hour, Lily King has written a “domestic drama with the adrenalin-fueled beating heart of a thriller” (Elle).
 
“King is a wonderfully engaging writer who creates characters and situations we can’t resist.” —The Washington Post
Lansat:
Dec 1, 2007
ISBN:
9781555846640
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

LILY KING is the author of the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, Father of the Rain and Euphoria, one of the New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2014 and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She lives in Maine.  

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3.4
7 evaluări / 8 Recenzii
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  • (2/5)
    This was not a very good book and I had trouble staying with it to the end. It was hard to follow and a disappointing read about a woman who could not seem to deal with life and the hand it dealt her to the point those around her had to suffer right along with her. I would not recommend this book.
  • (4/5)
    Title - The English TeacherAuthor - Lily KingSource - The Scottsdale Public Library (ebook)Summary - Vida Avery is very much in control of her life, as far as appearances go. Yet she is pleasantly surprised when she wakes up every morning that she hasn't killed her son in her sleep. Vida is an English Teacher in Fayer, the school built on the family ancestral grounds that had once been her grandfather's. But change was coming into Vida's life. Change that seemed welcomed by all around her, her son, her colleagues, her friends. Everyone but Vida herself."...The ring hovered now, too, caught in the tips of his fingers. Suddenly she understood the true role of the ring. It forced, as T.S. Eliot would say, the moment to its crisis. Without it, a proposal was just a question, a query, and the response could be the beginning of a conversation that might last weeks, or years. But the ring demanded the final answer within a few seconds..."Vida accepts Tom's proposal of marriage and soon she and her son Peter are living with Tom and his family. Stuart the college drop out and eastern philosopher. Fran, the young beautiful girl that ignored Peter in high school, the youngest Caleb. But even more, in Tom's house, the ever present memory of Tom's first wife, the dead mother of his children.In addition to this private upheaval in Vida's and Peter's lives is the necessity for Vida to teach both English classes together since the other English Teacher had taken ill. Both classes, twice the students, learning the Tom Hardy novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles. A novel Vida detested. A novel that filled her with her own self loathing."...Peter waited for someone braver, someone whose mother was not teaching the class, whose crush of four years was not two seats diagonally to the left, to ask exactly what had happened. But no one did."What name does she give the baby?" his mother asked. She looked around for other hands, then called on Helen, who had all the answers. She always did; even back in first grade he remembered her lone arm in the air."Sorrow," Helen said. And without waiting for his mother to ask why, she continued, "Because he was the result of her rape..."Vida is unraveling. The control she held over her life and her career is slipping away. Her young marriage is falling apart as she finds she may not have really loved Tom after all. She just felt pressured into accepting his proposal. Her new family dislikes her as the memory of their mother comes between them daily. The pressure of taking care of both classrooms becomes to much and she finds for once she cannot control the discussions and opinions of her students. Vida is slowly coming undone."...I don't understand what happened. I thought you were-""Someone else?""Stop it. Stop finishing my sentences. Stop looking at me with that smirk like you can see all around me, like a character for you to analyze. You don't have to be a goddamn English teacher all the time. Just be yourself.""And who do you think that is..."But that is the issue for Vida. Who is she really? Is the person she became a lie. What of the secrets that she has held onto, the secrets that are seeping from her pores every single day as she losing control.And what of Peter and his desire for the girl who is now his sister. What will happen to both Vida and her son Peter, when they finally face the truth of who they are.Review - The English Teacher is an incredible roller coaster of novel, the emotional swings will take you from one high to the next with drops of startling velocity. It starts off slow and the character of Vida is difficult to relate to. It is only later in the novel that you come to understand why. She is one dimensional in a three dimensional world. The veneer that keeps everyone, including her Peter, outside of her self and all that is her trapped inside. She has depths does Vida. Great pools of emotion. Pain and lost hope. Betrayals. But she has buried them so deep that without effort, even she cannot tell what was real from what is a fantasy.Peter's character is another well crafted narrative. He knows there is something very wrong with his mother but he cannot figure out what it is. He naively believes that the marriage to Tom and the instant family will bring order to their lives and when Vida goes about destroying that hope his anger toward her for taking away the only family he may ever have is visceral.In the end it is the truth and not the lies they have surrounded themselves with that binds them.A slow start that builds into a very good read.
  • (4/5)
    I like flawed and complex female protagonists, so I liked this book. Vida is an English teacher in a private school and the single mother of a troubled son, Peter. She impulsively marries Tom, a kind widower with three children. Between memories of trauma in her past, and the difficulty in adjusting to the newly blended family, she takes to drinking.I can predict that some readers will be very frustrated with Vida through much of the book, but I think that's part of the point. People who have been traumatized can get stuck, and people who are stuck frustrate the hell out of people around them. Both Vida and Peter lack courage, and their journey in the book is the quest for courage. Allusions to Tess of the D'Urbervilles are weaved through the story, but thankfully the narrative rejects Hardy's fatalism.
  • (3/5)
    How long can you try to live a normal life if you haven't healed from your past? Love the characters and the author.
  • (3/5)
    A disappointing second novel by the author of The Pleasing Hour. The main character, the English teacher, was traumatized by a long-ago rape, but seemed to act, in the end, very much out of character.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    A sub genre I thoroughly enjoy consists of novels about English teachers and professors. I stumbled on a copy of The English Teacher by Lily King, after reading her latest novel, Euphoria. This is her second novel, and as I write this, I am awaiting delivery of her first. Vida Avery is a single mother with a son, Peter, who is about 14. She teaches at a school located in a mansion previously owned by her grandfather. When the story opens, she has been at the school for awhile, and the headmaster admires her, but many of her students think she is too hard. Vida has a dark secret she has shared with no one. She begins dating, and accepts a proposal of marriage on an impulse. The marriage is a failure almost from the start. She begins drinking, and her colleagues begin to notice. Her husband pleads with her to open up, but she refuses. He begins to lose patience, and the couple starts a series of heated arguments.Ever the English teacher, she spins a life for some waste collectors she has never seen. King writes, “The got behind a garbage truck. Vida lit a cigarette as the two men in back leapt from the runner, separated to opposite sides of the street, hurled bags three at a time up and over the truck’s backside, and hopped back on just as the truck jerked ahead. White steam streamed from their nostrils. They wore no gloves and drank no coffee and yet they seemed warm and full of energy. They’d probably been up since three, and soon they would be done. They’d go to a diner for lunch – Reubens, French fries, a few beers. Then they’d sleep – at a room apartment on Water Street, their muscles tired, their bellies full, their minds thoughtless as cows. The truck stopped again, and the man on the left, having caught Vida’s covetous eye, grinned at her. She glanced quickly away in what felt like fright. The truck veered off then, but the acknowledgement made her uneasy for several more blocks, as if a character in a book has addressed her by name” (38). All these seemingly innocuous scenes connect to clues as to her past.The faculty are a curious set of characters. They seem to go about their business, like whispers in the background. Only one of the male teachers shows any interest in Vida. King writes, “They had, every one of them, misunderstood her entire life. She had never yearned to marry as these people apparently thought she had. Brick Howells was hardly the only person to have attempted the fix up. How many times had she accepted a dinner invitation from one of them, only to find in their living room some recently devastated fellow wiping his palms on his slacks? You have so much to offer, she was often told, as if she had a tray of cigarettes and candy perpetually strapped to her waist. But these setups had stopped a few years back. Vida realized now, from their relieved, astonished expressions, that they had all given up” (60-61).An interesting aspect of the story is Vida’s use of works of literature she was teaching as thickly veiled connections to her secret. One day, she fails to show up for school, and Peter finds her face down in a field. He manages to drag her to her car, put her in the back seat, and drives off with or without even a learner’s permit. He drives to California to see Vida’s sister. The English Teacher by Lily Ling is a suspenseful and riveting novel without being horrifying, and only at the end does the story explode.--Jim, 8/31/16

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I found this so tedious that I resorted to my childhood habit of skipping to read the last chapter and closing the book.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Just finished reading this book today. Not anything I would recommend for anyone else to read. The relationship between the teacher (Vida) and the widower (Tom) is completely implausible and the 'secret' is revealed early on in the story. Not a whole lot of substance or intrigue here folks.

    1 person found this helpful