When a teacher is accused of abuse, questions arise about another long-ago case, in this “affecting” novel about the long shadow cast by childhood trauma (The Washington Post).
Nora Buchbinder—formerly rich and now broke—would be the last woman in Brooklyn to claim #MeToo, but when a work assignment reunites her with her childhood best friend, Beth, she finds herself in a hall of mirrors. Was their eighth grade teacher Beth’s lover or her rapist? Where were the grown-ups? What should justice look like, after so much time has passed? And what can Nora do, now?
Nora’s memories, and Beth’s, and those of their classmates, their former teacher and members of his family, bring to light some of the ways we absorb and manage unbearable behavior. From denial to reinvention, self-pity to self-righteousness, endless questioning to intransigent certainty, readers will recognize the ripples sent into the lives of others by one broken man.
“A gripping, provocative story about bright young girls in thrall to a charismatic teacher, and his haunting impact on their adult lives. Set in two Brooklyns, that of the 1970s and of 2009, the novel adds depth and nuance to our ongoing conversation about #MeToo revelations. Cline’s characters are drawn with delightful wit and a keen eye, as well as a striking and profound tenderness for youthful innocence and longing. I devoured this novel, and it has stayed with me long after I turned the last page.” —Kate Manning, author of My Notorious Life