The Teacher's Secret by Suzanne Leal

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The Teacher's Secret by Suzanne Leal

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Small towns give you gossip but they also give you great fodder for stories, and this multi-narrator tale ticks all the boxes
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: May 2017
Publisher: Legend Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1785079078

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Terry has been teaching at his suburban Australian junior school for years. Everyone knows him, heck half the kids in his class have parents who were former pupils of his. He's an institution. You know the sort. And he does not take kindly to a new young upstart showing up and trying to meddle. He's not nasty about it, but it rubs him up the wrong way.

This is Terry's story, but we meet a lot of other people too, each with their own two cents worth. The book is the journey, not the destination. Every chapter is a story in its own right and that's so unusual. A part of me was wondering when the story would start, but a part of me suspected it already had. This is small town life, everyone knows everyone's business, and as such eventually all those stories become one, so whether you're listening to the new principal, or a new teacher, a lonely old local lady, or an exotic woman from overseas, or even just the local cleaner, it's another piece of the puzzle, ready to slot together.

This book did an incredible job not only of weaving those strands together but also of building a picture so gradually and subtly that the substantial nature of the revelations remains quite elusive until Bam! there it is in front of you and you can't believe you didn't see it until now. The book is called The Teacher's Secret but there are many more surprises hidden in the pages.

I thought it did an excellent job in painting a picture of everyday Australian life, in much the same way Liane Moriarty books do. There are lots of British elements to life down under, lots of traditions that continue a world away, but there's also something beautifully unique about towns such as Brindle and this book wouldn't have quite the same charm were it set in Birmingham or Brighton or Bradford. I also enjoyed the way different perspectives could make me change my mind on people in the story. You think you know someone….and then two chapters later you're seeing someone through entirely different eyes. The ensemble cast makes this work so well because it's not a two person he said/she said, it's a whole community with different views on different things, being told different parts of the story and jumping to different conclusions.

I really enjoyed this story for its unique style and approach, and found it incredibly easy to get into. From the first few pages I knew I was really going to like it, and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review. If you enjoy this sort of mild mystery, Ghost Child by Caroline Overington is very much recommended.

Buy The Teacher's Secret by Suzanne Leal at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Teacher's Secret by Suzanne Leal at

Buy The Teacher's Secret by Suzanne Leal at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Teacher's Secret by Suzanne Leal at


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