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I was completely taken by surprise by this gentle, joyous and insightfully told story of Beatrice, a new exceedingly earnest middle-school teacher. The story was funny, frank, oddball, loving and longingly told. Gilbert's narration was a perfect foil for Bynum's beautifully succinct nail-on-the-head writing style. Complex and often conflicting emotions are rendered palpable and crystalline with this excellent storytelling.
I stumbled upon this wonder years after publication and confess that I was so taken with this book I listened twice. On the surface this is a simple story but somehow it artfully captures the exuberance of young adulthood and the devotion that can occur between a teacher and her students. Bynum also captures a myriad of Beatrice's relationships--some uncomfortable and embarrassing--with her small circle of friends, her co-workers and her family. So much depth is accomplished in such a short period of time that I was amazed.
To me this was a joy filled, occasionally silly but always heartfelt story. I loved it.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
I did not like this book at all. It was perplexing, boring and unnecessarily crude. I never felt like the author finished an idea. I kept thinking I had skipped chapters. I slogged through to the end in the hope that it would get better but it never did. It got worse. The reader did a good job with what she had to work with.