The story opens as Arthur Winthrop, a middle aged headmaster, is found wandering naked in ice and snow on a winter’s morning in New York’s Central Park. From this behaviour, one would assume that he is in the throes of some sort of personal crisis and the revelation of an illicit affair with one of his students goes some way to explain Arthur’s somewhat ignominious fall from grace. This conduct unbecoming of an elite prep school headmaster forms the crux of the story and Arthur’s downward spiral into menacing obsession is both alarming and heartbreaking in equal measure.
From the beginning, it becomes obvious that this is no ordinary story of forbidden love and as the jigsaw pieces of Arthur Winthrop’s life are pieced together, the hint of dangerous obsession, the enticement of illicit passion and the unreliability of an unstable narrator allows us a tantalising glimpse into a life torn apart by grief and loss. By dividing the story into three distinct parts; Acrimony, Expectations, and After, and the arrival of other more eloquent narrators in parts two and three, we are given a whole new perspective into Arthur’s version of events.
The author has an appealing way of tempting the reader and the complexity of the plot is nicely handled. The final dénouement is an entirely appropriate ending and only serves to reiterate the vagaries of life and the capriciousness of heartache.
I enjoyed it and will look out for more books by this author.
My thanks to Real Readers for my copy of this book.
About the Author
I just want to add that I prefer the US cover of this book !