I enjoyed the writing style. Despite the occasional grammatical error, it is a breezy, quick read. Richard's relationship with his son is especially well-written, illustrating a great father-son bond.
I'm a former teacher and I chose to read this book because I know that the politics of a school can be crazy. I am not disappointed. Principal Rutherford's heavy-handed rulings are unfortunately very believable. The book also raises issues of race, class and white privilege in a way that is very nuanced and thoughtful. The ending is great--I read the last quarter in one evening because I didn't want to put it down!
There is one small storyline that bothered me, mostly because it seems a bit incongruous with the rest of the very-believable story. I won't spoil anything, but Richard shares a story about a childhood formative experience to his wife in such an off-hand manner that it seems contrived. Most of the follow-up action to this childhood experience also pushes the boundaries of belief.
I also am not a fan of the portrayal of Richard's relationship with his wife. I understand strained relationships but it is hard to see that there was ever any love and communication between them. Lastly, there is quite a roster of characters and it was occasionally difficult to keep track of all of them.
Overall a very enjoyable read, one that will make you feel outraged, sad, and hopeful. 4 stars
I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.