I was really excited to receive an advance eAudio arc of this book. The cover alone was enough for me to be keen.
We have two teachers Ayisha and Jim, working at an inner city school where there are some gritty kids, there’s a fight one lunchtime and Jim is severely wounded, stabbed. Ayisha’s terrible attitude to her first aid training does her no favours, she is pushed aside from her rubbish ministrations by a young student who is very protective of Jim. Shamayal, the student seems to be close to Jim. This doesn’t seem right to Ayisha. These 3 are the nucleus around which the story swirls. We weave in and out of their stories.
Jim is a wonderful character, someone who cares deeply for his students because he knows where they come from, he grew up locally in similar circumstances to the young people he teaches. He knows the people in the neighbourhood and he has a heart full of love for these people. We learn his back story, meet his childhood friend Aimee and come to know him very well.
All of this is really not selling this lovely book. It is gentle, it is melancholic and moving. I didn’t want it to end, the atmosphere that the author manages to build up had me gripped. So cleverly are the threads pulled together that I had to listen to the end of the book twice to get it. Gah so good!
I shall endeavour to read more books from this author. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me access to this wonderful treat.