Judy McFarland is a long-time teacher at the Waldorf school in Sylvania, Maryland, but lately her life has been pretty unhappy. Her husband doesn't have time for her, her children are distant and detached, and her closest friend and confidante recently passed away. So despite knowing that its wrong, when the opportunity to hook up with one of the older students at the school arises, she takes it. Zach is sixteen, with one foot firmly in adulthood and the other clinging to his youth. Being with Judy is intoxicating for him at first, but quickly turns sour as the pressure mounts to keep their affair a secret. And as the situation goes south, elements of Judy's dark past begin to come to the surface.
Be prepared to give this book some time - you will not want to put it down. I got sucked into this story from the very first chapter and could not let go. I was so taken with Rebecca Coleman that I went out and bought Coleman's first book, Desperado City, when I was barely half way through reading this one! I think the story of student and teacher will always carry some allure, whether it is from pure fantasy or full scandal. And indeed, some parts of this book made me feel ill, even when I knew there was no way I could turn away and stop reading. It was curious to see how Coleman switches from chapters from Judy's POV in the beginning, to weening towards chapters heavy on Zach's POV in the end. This worked out quite well, because by the time I was done judging Judy on her actions, I wanted to know more about how Zach was doing. Plus, I liked being kept in the dark about Judy, getting little pieces of her life deliberately revealed to me with painstaking care. I know that it will be a book that sticks with me in my thoughts for months to come.
Overall Rating: 5 Stars