Reviews ~ Teacher

pennyart – Amazon
Maybe a Sequel
The setting is Olympia, Washington as one follows the characters through their lives and the events that shape them. Clayton puts the reader solidly in the time frame and place, which he obviously has experienced. The LGBTQ issues are a integral part of the story, which unfortunately, continue today, often with devastating fallout. The story delivers this at the personal and community levels. It may be heresy to bring in Stephen King as a literary guru, but King’s advice to authors was first of all, write a good story.
This is not a long book. But with the setup of these characters, it would be great to see a sequel to this story.

Sara G – Amazon
Good plot
Excellent. It was nice to read a book set in Olympia. WA. Alec did a good job highlighting the main character s struggle with being a lesbian in today’s world.

JA Knold – Amazon
A Captivating Read
P.T. Barnum is credited with the saying—“Always leave them wanting more.” Well, this is precisely what author Alec Clayton has done with his book TEACHER. Whether or not that was his intention, I simply don’t know.

TEACHER takes place in the town of Olympia, and readers who know Washington state’s capital city are in for a treat. Many are the insightful references to Olympia’s subcultures, political leanings, and physical surroundings.

But it’s the book’s characters who will truly capture the reader’s attention. I won’t mention any character by name, but suffice it to say that the cast of well-developed and quirky personalities in TEACHER will leave the reader wanting to know more about them, and what their future has in store. Indeed, I was saddened that there wasn’t an epilogue letting me know how the characters fared in the years ahead.

The storyline establishes a strong platform for telling us more. And it is more that the reader will no doubt wait in anticipation to discover relative to the gritty and brave characters (although some are plagued with self-doubt) to whom Clayton has introduced us. And so, dear author, please consider telling us more about the adventures, the emotional highs and lows, the failures and the heroism of the protagonists in TEACHER. You see, it’s as though they have become friends of mine, and I care about them.

James T. Patrick – Amazon
For the straight person it is an eyeopener!
I decided to read this book because it had been a long time since I had read anything Alec had written. I do believe in supporting local artists as much as I can and I have, admittedly, during the “sequestration” brought to my life by the pandemic have focused primarily on my family. TEACHER provided me the opportunity to witness the lives, the ups and the downs, of people other than straight people. I am so glad that I did. I am not going to repeat what has been written by the previous reviewers.

Take the time to read this fine novel and embrace the characters and their lives.

courtney – Goodreads

Having spent most of my adult life in Olympia, Wash. and personally knowing the author, Alec Clayton, I may be more than a little partial to Teacher than your average reader. That said, this little book (126 pages) has a lot to offer and had me at the first line: “It was, so far, the most shocking moment in Eva McRoy’s 41 years of living.”

Clayton is a master of small details and developing a sense of place. He immediately pulls the reader in to the personal story of Eva, a bisexual middle-aged high school teacher at a small private school in Olympia, the liberal state capital. There is some great LGBTQ history weaved into this novel of self-discovery, loss, and passion, as well as real-life events including the police shooting of two young black men, a school shooting, and local protests dating pre-George Floyd’s death. From the small farm where Eva lives with her gorgeous wife Helen and teenage children, to the local diner where “the girls” plan civil rights protests, Clayton pays great attention to details, such as “ sunshine streaming in from the east, only one tiny cloud to be seen in a cobalt sky, like a marshmallow drifting overhead.”

Clayton also has a gift for character development. I found myself especially attached to the secondary characters like the kids in Eva’s high school English class, and the gay couple who end up being sperm donors to Eva and Helen.

The plot development was complex and a bit choppy but it still worked for me. It’s almost like scenes in a play, but in a novel. As a mother I wanted more development of Eva’s love for her kids, especially given her own loss and the ending felt a bit rushed and tied with a bow. Still, this is a great quick read and in my opinion a most for teachers and anyone in Olympia….or beyond…who wants empathetic characters and complex layers of living your truth no matter the consequences.

Marybeth Bland – Goodreads
Good plot
Excellent. It was nice to read a book set in Olympia. WA. Alec did a good job highlighting the main character s struggle with being a lesbian in today’s world.

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