Updated: Feb 4, 2020
THE LESSON is one of very few books that I talked about with the author before it even sold, let alone was polished and published, and then had a chance to actually hold and read the finished, professional version. Which is pretty cool, and yet still I'm a whole year late on this review! I bought it as an ebook when it was on sale right after it came it out and then I had a different thing I had to read for a project I was working on, and I was editing a manuscript that was taking all my attention, and my ereader battery died, and--anyway.
Don't be like me! Put this one on the top of your To Read pile and then actually read it!
Pros: super interesting structure, lovely and human characters, romantic and friendship-style love stories, truth about colonialism and its effects, incisive commentary about white women's position in a racist imperialist system, a strong balance of hopefulness and despair about the future, thought-provoking events, strong prose.
Cons: does in fact contain a sad middle-aged male teacher who wants to sleep with a (former) student, which is my least favorite character archetype. Even though the story doesn't reward him for being what he is, I wanted to stab him in the eye with a pencil.