Nenette's Reviews > The English Teacher

The English Teacher by Lily King
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Feb 16, 10

Read from February 13 to 15, 2010

** spoiler alert ** I can’t decide whether to like or to not like this book, so I’m giving it a 3. I also can’t decide if there were more positives than negatives in this book (again, that is why it’s a 3). The positive points are also contributory to its negative aspects.

It was a very easy read for me, in that I finished it in 2 days not because it was that sort of a page-turner; more like there were just 15 chapters (albeit long ones), and it was not very good to put down the book in the middle of a chapter.

This undecided feeling that I have is probably because I could not emphatize with the main character of Vida (with a name that means “life”, she was not so full of it). Being a woman myself, I could very well understand how traumatic rape can be, moreso if it resulted into a pregnancy. This was what happened to Vida, and probably because of her background, she chose to carry on with her pregnancy and raise her son. However, there was no mention in the book about how Vida’s life had been from the time of the rape until 15 years later when she met and married Tom. For me, this is what is lacking – I don’t understand what it was in Vida’s life (aside from the rape) that almost instantly changed her behavior overnight – pre-wedding and post-wedding. Was it the lack of therapy? Was it the lack of contact from the outside world when she and her son were peacefully living in that cottage off-campus? The readers are left to guess for themselves, or did I miss anything? I have lots of questions really, and I also have the urge to shake Vida out of her what – stupor, depression?

The last 2 or 3 chapters were sort of redemptive when Vida, with the sole orchestration of his son got to California and somehow began to live anew. There was a reconciliation between her son and stepchildren (by her husband) when throughout the book there was very few mention of their good rapport with each other. There was also the impending reconciliation between her and Tom. All these, with no mention of how the bridges were built, just by phone calls?

All’s well that ends well. The story had a happy ending, or at least was going into one. At least I was able to pick up a lesson – there is always hope and always, a chance at happiness.
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