The Teacher s Secret: All is not what it seems in this close-knit community...
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229 pages

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‘Packed with heart and suspense… I absolutely loved it’ Jenny Ashcroft

Things aren't always as they seem...

A small town can be a refuge, but while its secrets are held, it's hard to know who to trust and what to believe.

The Teacher's Secret is a tender and compelling story of scandal, rumor and dislocation, and the search for grace and dignity in the midst of dishonor and humiliation.

Suzanne Leal draws us into a public school in the intimate town of Brindle, Australia in which vice principal Terry comes to generational loggerheads with stand-in principal Laurie concerning teachers and their treatment of their pupils. Told over four semesters, this conflict will slowly change their lives.

Perfect for fans of The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray

What Reviewers and Readers Say:

'Delicately woven… a big-hearted book,' Joanne Fedler

Elegantly structured, unsettling, yet with moments of surprising wit,’ Kathryn Heyman

‘Masterfully constructed, this moving novel warns us of our capacity to make or break the lives of those around us… Drawn with wit and clear-eyed affection, the inhabitants of this wonderful novel will remain with you long after you have put it down.’ Mark Lamprell

‘A rich interweaving of beautifully drawn characters told so gently and in such exquisite detail that they grew on me until I was lost in their world.’ Robin de Crespigny

'The Teacher’s Secret is a gutsy yet intricate examination of one of society’s nightmares, filled with strong characters and relationships interwoven in a storyline that has the reader engrossed to the last page,’ Robert Wainwright

‘Suzanne Leal writes with her hand on her heart, writing according to its beat… translating the ordinary into the extraordinary. An Australian talent, universally understood.’ Charles Waterstreet

‘Suspenseful, moving and full of heart. I couldn’t put it down.’ Richard Glover

‘An eloquent story of a life thrown into disarray; it drew me in and held me, page after page.’ Rachel Seiffert

‘Suzanne Leal is a writer of unusual sensitivity, with a rare ability to shed light on the dark tangle of emotional attachments which lies just below the surface of everyday life.’ John Colle

'What a great read! I could not put it down. I can imagine this book being talked about and passed around from teacher to teacher in the school staff room and from parent to parent in the school car park ...' Schooldays Magazine



His eyes spring open and, in the minutes before the alarm rings, he thinks about the day ahead. He looks forward to the first day of term the way the kids look forward to the first day of holidays—with a jump of excitement.
 Beside him, Michelle is still sleeping. He smiles as he looks across at her. In sleep, there’s something that takes away all the years so that she seems little more than a girl. He’s a lucky man, that’s for sure. He only needs to look at her to remember that. 
  When the alarm rings, she stirs. Drawing a deep breath, she moves her head and, with the brush of her hand, pushes a lock of hair from her face. She rubs her eyes before, very slowly, she opens them.
   ‘Good morning, sweetheart,’ he says softly. 
  It takes her a moment to focus. ‘Hello,’ she says, her voice thick with sleep. ‘What’s the time?’ 
  ‘Ten past seven, love.’ 
  ‘Already?’ She yawns. ‘Can’t be.’ 
While she stretches, he gets himself dressed. Today he chooses his orange shirt, because it’s cheerful, teams it with a pair of long trousers and his Rockports and he’s done.
   In the kitchen, he works his way through a bowl of cornflakes, drinks a couple of mouthfuls of tea and heads for10the bathroom. As always, it’s a surprise to see himself in the mirror: a figure on the way to becoming an old man. There’s even silver in his moustache these days. 
  All in all, though, it’s been a good life; a fortunate life, even. He’s not saying it’s been plain sailing, that’s not what he means. And certainly, there are things he’d have changed if he’d had the choice. 
  Like being a dad. 
  Because he’d have liked that. It’s one of the things he’d have most liked. 
  The kids at school, they’re pretty upfront with the questions. ‘Sir,’ they’ll say—especially the new ones; the ones that don’t know him so well—‘how many kids have you got, sir?’ 
  Mostly, he’ll just shake his head and play it straight. ‘No kids,’ he’ll say. Other times, he’ll make a zero out of his thumb and index finger and hold it up. ‘Zero,’ he’ll say. ‘I have zero kids and one dog.’ That normally works a treat. It always does when you add a dog into the mix. Because in the end, nine out of ten kids are more interested in dogs than babies. 
  Sometimes, though, he’ll squat down and crook a finger to draw the kid close. ‘You know how many kids I’ve got?’ he’ll whisper. ‘Hundreds.’ 
  Michelle isn’t so good on the questions. Of course she tries; she says all the things he’s heard other people say—other people like him and Michelle, people without kids. Kids? she’ll say. It’s a full-time job just looking after Terry. That’s his cue to look a bit guilty and hopeless, like he’s owning up to it: that she’s right, he’s the reason why. Truth is, they tried and they tried: the natural way, the medical way. Nothing worked. For a while, they spoke about adopting, but in the end nothing came of it. Strange to admit it now, but he can’t quite remember what happened: whether it all got too complicated with the forms and the procedures and the waiting and what have you, or whether, in the end, they just got tired of it and called it a day. It’s all a long time ago. 
   And now’s not the time to be thinking about it anyway; now’s the time to get going. But first he pops back into the bedroom, a fresh cup of tea in his hand. It’s part of the morning ritual: he gets up and gets himself ready, then makes Michelle a cuppa to have in bed. And although her eyes are closed again when he comes in, her lips curve in a smile as soon as he puts the cup down on her bedside table, a soft chink of ceramic on the wooden coaster. ‘You all ready?’ she asks, her voice throaty. 
  ‘All ready,’ he says. ‘Funny, though, to think of the year without Diane.’ 
  Eyes open now, Michelle gives a stretch. ‘They’ll have a ball, the two of them,’ she says, stifling a yawn. ‘A year travelling the world. What’s not to like about that? I’d do it in a flash.’ She sits up and reaches for the tea. ‘I still think you should have put your hand up for the job.’ 
  It’s not the first time they’ve had this discussion. ‘It’s not my thing, love,’ he tells her again. ‘You know that. When have I ever fancied myself as head honcho?’ 
  ‘They’d have given it to you, you know that, don’t you? I mean, you are the assistant principal. Diane said you would have been a shoo-in.’He dismisses this with a grunt. 
‘Elsie’s reading now,’ he says. ‘Got to make sure she doesn’t forget how.’



Publié par
Date de parution 15 mai 2017
Nombre de lectures 4
EAN13 9781785079085
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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