21/07/2004

More Lives than One (by Libby Purves)

I'm enjoying reading novels by Libby Purves, who is probably better known as an outspoken journalist. Her style is hard-hitting and concise, her stories always different, revolving somewhat around contemporary issues, and her plots cleverly done.

'More Lives than One' is a powerful book which I very much enjoyed. Kit and Anna both teach at a rather poor comprehensive school, and are married. Kit, in particular, is a very popular teacher. Only one small thing mars their happiness, and even that looks as if it's going to be solved....

Then Kit takes a group of Year Seven students to Venice, accompanied at the last moment by his least favourite colleague. It all goes well, but afterwards something totally unexpected happens, which leads him into depression, and - eventually - a shocking confession. At least, it would have been shocking if it had been earlier in the book, but the characters have been so well developed that I found my preconceptions being turned upside down, as I considered the viewpoint of the (very likeable) person who makes the confession.

All in all, a very thought-provoking book.

No comments: