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This review is from: The Chatham School Affair (Paperback)
Cook is a really good writer, who describes his books as character driven psychological dramas, where bad things happen, rather than crime novels
This book shares some devices with Masters of the Delta - the relationship between a schoolboy and teacher is central, the story is narrated by an old man looking back on his youth and the teacher in question tells violent stories from history to their pupils.
Set in 1927, it follows the transforming effect that his relationship with a beautiful, unorthodox teacher has on a boy from a staid, constricted background. His father is a headmaster in a small town in Maine. He is seduced by her freedom and liberalism and is swept away with the romanticism of her life, with devastating effect.
It is a slow book, with a wonderful sense of place, which really makes it. The ending was not entirely convincing to me and some of the twists were well signposted.
Even so, it is a pretty good book and recommended. I actually think this would make a great film.