Monday, August 25, 2014

{Review} THE HEADMASTER'S WIFE by Thomas Christopher Greene

ISBN #: 978-1250038944
Page Count: 288
Copyright: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Like his father before him, Arthur Winthrop is the Headmaster of Vermont’s elite Lancaster School. It is the place he feels has given him his life, but is also the site of his undoing as events spiral out of his control.

Found wandering naked in Central Park, he begins to tell his story to the police, but his memories collide into one another, and the true nature of things, a narrative of love, of marriage, of family and of a tragedy Arthur does not know how to address emerges.

Luminous and atmospheric, bringing to life the tight-knit enclave of a quintessential New England boarding school, the novel is part mystery, part love story and an exploration of the ties of place and family. Beautifully written and compulsively readable, The Headmaster’s Wife stands as a moving elegy to the power of love as an antidote to grief.

Mandy's Review:

I am so torn by this novel!

The first half was amazing and shocking with Arthur as the narrator, telling his story, as he remembers it, to the police. When the first half ended, I felt as Richard Russo did in that my jaw had dropped at the end (his blurb is on the front cover of the book above the title). There's no way I can talk about the first half and not give anything away. I can tell you, though, that if this novel contained Arthur's viewpoint throughout its entirety I would have made this a 5-star review. What messed it up for me was the second half.

Where the first portion of the book was enthralling and something I was unable to put down, the second half fell flat for me. The second half began with Ethan (Arthur's son) as the narrator then it switches over to Elizabeth (Arthur's wife). I found Elizabeth to be dreadfully dull compared to the colorful character Arthur was.

What I expected to be a novel I loved turned into a novel I'm heartbroken over. The author should have found a way to use Arthur as the narrator throughout the novel. It would've made this story a page-turner for me. If you want to give it a go, then I would recommend it to those who enjoy a more literary work.

*A hardcopy of this novel was provided by the publicist in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I often find with books with multiple narrators that I'm far more drawn to one over the others. It's always a big drawback for me. I tend to like academia/boarding school novels, but I passed this one up. After reading your review, I can't tell whether I made the right decision or not.

    1. Sorry to have made you as torn as I am over this novel. This is the first I've felt this way. Most novels I either like them more than I dislike them or vice versa. *sigh*


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