Aussie Author Challenge Australian Women Writers Books

Book Review: The Teacher’s Secret by Suzanne Leal #AusReads17 #AWW2017

July 18, 2017

Terry is the assistant principal and Year 6 teacher at a small town primary school. He loves his job and is popular among the students, their parents and the staff at the small school. However, with the new school year comes a new acting principal, Laurie. They clash from day one. Laurie thinks it’s strange that Terry – a male with no children – would work in a primary school. She keeps a close eye on him and uncovers a dark secret. Terry’s sudden retirement in the middle of the school year causes some uproar among his students. The teacher taking his place – Nina – is new to the town and not only has to deal with her own troubled past of a cheating husband but now also needs to manage questions from Terry’s students and try and win their respect.

Amidst all this, are other storylines of Joan who has to try and get on with her life following the death of her mother and of Rebecca and her family who are forced to flee their homeland and wait in limbo of being accepted as refugees. The lives of all these individuals in this little town intertwine in many ways to depict life in a small town in Australia.

The book had an interesting premise for me — a male teacher with a secret; it’s easy to suspect what it might be. However, the secret when revealed in the end highlights how we are quick to jump to conclusions. The Teacher’s Secret is an easy and intriguing read but frustrating in some parts. For instance, Terry seems to be intent on pushing the boundaries in spite of several warnings and as a reader you can’t help but wonder why he doesn’t just stay on the safe side. I also felt like I wanted to know more about Terry and Laurie as opposed to having characters like Joan or Rebecca or Mel who didn’t really seem to fit in the story as a whole.

My rating:

***This has been read and reviewed for the 2017 Aussie Author Challenge and the 2017 Australian Women Writers’ Challenge. Also linking up with Kylie for IBOT this Tuesday***

Until next time,


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  • Reply Obsessivemom July 19, 2017 at 12:08 PM

    Sounds good. I like school settings and you’re right I did jump to that conclusion.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…An unlikely friendship #Teaser Tuesday 7My Profile

  • Reply Nabanita Dhar July 19, 2017 at 2:24 PM

    I like stories set in a school. This one sounds like a decent read.
    Nabanita Dhar recently posted…Anything But BooksMy Profile

  • Reply Erika @ Ever-changing Life of a Mum July 19, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    Sounds like a suspenseful read … although there seems to quite a few storylines going on at once. I might see if local library has a copy #teamIBOT

    • Reply Sanch Writes July 20, 2017 at 8:44 PM

      Yeah, it does keep you wondering but I would have liked fewer storylines and more depth in some

  • Reply Elisa July 20, 2017 at 7:21 PM

    Oh sounds intriguing! I think I’d like it. Thank you for the review xx

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