With similarities to Notes on a Scandal, I found this a very well put together fairly gripping story. From the numerous reviews giving the storyline I think you get the idea that Judy, the school teacher in her forties, has an inappropriate relationship with Zach, friend of her son and schoolboy at the school where she teaches. There is more to it than just that though, we are periodically taken back to Judy's childhood in Germany where she struggles with the language, her mother is suffering from a mental illness and her father is busy seducing the young house maid. Apart from the shock of discovering her father in bed with the maid, there is a very important link between this part of her life, the death of a previous boyfriend and accusations from her husband in her failing marriage. Judy is quite a mixed up person and although she is the responsible adult and should know better I can't help thinking that seventeen year old Zach asked for and enjoyed pretty much all he got. There are lots of side issues such as Judy's jealousy of a girl Zach fancies, Zach's close relationship with his pregnant mother to the point of being present at the birth, Judy's son's anti-social behaviour and Judy's very real and strong grief for a fellow school teacher who she was very close to. All side plots were interesting, relevant and enriching to the story as a whole.
I've read a few of these `forbidden love' novels and in each one the young school girl/boy is not as innocent as you would expect of a child. They are most often portrayed as the promiscuous one and actively seeking love and sex from the teacher/adult (I am saying what is a common feature in a fictional book, not necessarily real life). I really enjoy this style of book and if you want to read another in a similar vein but with a role reversal (young schoolgirl with male teacher) then You Deserve Nothing is also an excellent read.
I thought this was a very well thought out plot, cleverly and smoothly put together weaving between current day life at the American Rudolf Steiner school and Judy's disturbed childhood in Germany and can highly recommend it if you like the `Lolita' style of story.