The English Teacher
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.
- 2005 Lily King
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