Teacher, Teacher (by Jack Sheffield)

I didn't know anything much about Jack Sheffield, although I'd come across reviews of his books when I bought some for a relative a year or two ago. On holiday recently, I was able to borrow his first two novels, and enjoyed them very much.

'Teacher, Teacher' is written somewhat in the style of James Herriot or Gervase Phinn. It's a fictional account (almost certainly based heavily on personal experience) of a young headmaster in his first year at a small Yorkshire school in the late 1970s.

I thought it very well written, giving a great impression of what life was like in a village environment thirty years ago. There are some colourful characters in the book who seem believable, if a little caricatured, and some delightful children.

The book is written in the first person, as if it were about Jack Sheffield himself, with one or two very funny moments and others that are extremely moving. There's a low-key romance too, when Jack meets the attractive Beth Henderson.

Very enjoyable. Recommended to anyone who likes this style of book. Easy to pick up, easy to put down in between chapters.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 27th September 2009

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