Friday, January 20, 2017

Dear Great Book Guru,  I was with a group of friends this week at their annual “Beat the Winter Blues” party and someone mentioned a new book- a literary thriller- set in a boys’ school in England.  She said it was a compelling read but couldn’t remember the title.  Does it sound familiar?  Beating the Winter Blues

Dear Beating the Winter Blues,  Sounds like a great idea for a party and yes, I know the book: DIFFERENT CLASS by Joanne Harris.  Told from the dual perspectives of  veteran Latin teacher Roy Straitley and a former student who remains nameless through most of the book- this novel shifts back and forth between 1981 and 2005.  In 1981, a murder occurred at St. Oswalds’s School for Boys and three of Straitley’s students were somehow involved.   A charismatic teacher and friend of Straitley’s, Harry Clarke is implicated and imprisoned but the murder remained unsolved.  Now in 2005, one of the students returns as headmaster to rescue the school from insolvency bringing in technology and a new faculty, overthrowing 500 years of scholastic tradition.  Soon it becomes evident that someone has been hiding a horrific secret.  Despite a darkly menacing overlay, there is much biting humor as students and faculty adapt to the new world of the 21st century.  An insightful study of the British class system and public school milieu in particular, this is a worthwhile read- recommended!

Hope to meet up with many of my readers Saturday at the March on Washington!

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