After thirty years at St Oswald’s Grammar in North Yorkshire, Latin master Roy Straitley has seen all kinds of boys come and go. But every so often there’s a boy who doesn’t fit the mould. A troublemaker. A boy with hidden shadows inside. A new broom has arrived, bringing Powerpoint, sharp suits and even sixth form girls to the dusty corridors. But while Straitley does his sardonic best to resist this march to the future, a shadow from his past is stirring. A boy who even twenty years on haunts his teacher’s dreams. A boy capable of bad things.
I was particularly interested to read this novel being an ex-teacher but also having had some experience of the public school system in England. This novel epitomised the buildings, tradition, characters and the pervading atmosphere. It could be any public school, anywhere in England and that is where the strength of this novel lies. It is grounded in realism, with wholly believable characters, both masters and children. I found it enthralling and couldn’t put it down. When I finished the book, I felt I had lost old friends. Simply terrific.
Click on the cover to go to the Amazon book page.