Alone in the Classroom

Alone in the Classroom

[a Novel]

Book - 2011
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Elizabeth Hay's highly acclaimed, national bestseller now in a deluxe paperback edition.
Hay's runaway bestseller novel crosses generations and cuts to the bone of universal truth about love and our relationship with the past. In 1930, a school principal in Saskatchewan is suspected of abusing a student. Seven years later, on the other side of the country, a girl picking wild cherries meets a violent end. These are only two of the mysteries in the life of the narrator's charismatic aunt, Connie Flood.
As the narrator Anne pieces together her aunt's lifelong attachment to her former student Michael Graves, and her obsession with Parley Burns, the inscrutable principal implicated in the assault of Michael's younger sister, her own story becomes connected with that of the past, and the triangle of principal, teacher, student opens out into other emotional triangles -- aunt, niece, lover; mother, daughter, granddaughter -- until a sudden, capsizing love changes Anne's life. Alone in the Classroom is Elizabeth Hay's most tense, intricate, and seductive novel yet.

Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2011
ISBN: 9780771037979
Branch Call Number: HAY
Characteristics: 306 p. ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Mar 26, 2017

A good read, beautifully written, that examines ‘schooling’ vs ‘education’ through a 50+ year span in small town, Canada. Hay blends this focus with mystery, family dynamics, the urges of love, and the secrets of small towns where folks are willing to simply forget tragedy and move on. The characters are memorably depicted and, despite some confusing jumping around in time, their stories ring true as we follow the impact of the events in their lives.

Jun 28, 2016

I would not recommend this book. It lacks conclusion. The story keeps jumping in time. At times it is hard to know who is a leading character. Life stories are twisted and larger than life. In my opinion Elizabeth Hay is a good writer; I enjoyed her writing, but not this book.

Apr 07, 2016

I have read other novels by Elizabeth Hay and found them very enjoyable, as they took me into another world that I was anxious to dissolve into. However, this book meandered all over the place and didn't really have a climax. Nothing was really revealed at the end of the book. It just seemed like a slice out of a group of characters' lives, with a beginning but no conclusion.

Jun 05, 2013

The setting in the Ottawa Valley and inclusion of events such as the Almonte train wreck made the book enjoyable for someone from this area. However, in the end, Hay really does not have anything interesting to say.

Nov 20, 2012

Told by a niece of a Teacher on the Prairies and then moves to Ottawa. Lives encountered as students, friends and relatives. Murder of a young girl and the quest for who did it runs through the tale.

BPLNextBestAdults Jun 05, 2012

“Alone in the classroom” is an interesting twist of murder mystery and relationship novel. The novel deals with the life of Connie Flood, an eighteen-year-old-teacher who is working in a small town in Saskatchewan. While Connie is working in Saskatchewan a fifteen-year-old student, Susan, is sexually assaulted by the school principal. Connie develops a special relationship with one of her students, Michael, who is struggling in school. Seven years later in the Ottawa valley an eight-year-old girl goes berry picking and is found murdered. The narrator, Ann Flood, effectively connects these two mysteries. The appeal factors of this novel are realistic and well-drawn characters.

AGLibrary Mar 24, 2012

Good book

Mar 19, 2012

I agree with much of what has already been said, in terms of the main character. She was the weakest link in the book. I had no desire to read about her, and instead would have preferred the book to focus on her aunt and the main people in her aunt's life.

While the first half of the book was very interesting, I found towards the end that the story became very disjointed and meandered all over the place.

All in all I was disappointed with this book. Hay's previous book was much better. I would not recommend anyone read this.

Dec 21, 2011

The second book I've read of Hay's, after Late Nights on Air (which was superb).

Like other readers, I found the narrator's story to be much less interesting than those of Connie, Parley and Michael, and didn't much like Anne anyway. Or at least I found her/the affair storyline to be selfish and stupid/implausible, respectively. As a result, that part of the story felt a little clunky and messy, detracting from the stories of Connie et al, and my reading experience overall.

Dec 07, 2011

Not my favorite from EH. Too many story lines, and in the end I couldn't care less about the main plot. The sub-plots definitely shone brighter for me than the main character, who was boring and self-centered.

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Aug 07, 2011

Bought this as my first Kobo ebook purchase. Liked the first part but thought the novel should have ended about 3/4 of the way along. Good writing and description of the prairie landscape. 7/10

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