Lesson Plans

Suzanne Greenberg. Prospect Park, $15 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-938849-24-4
Greenberg (Speed-Walk and Other Stories) sets her first adult novel in Southern California, where several families opt for homeschool instead of public education. The decision to homeschool serves as a commonality for these families, but it's hard to imagine them choosing to spend time together. David, a sanctimonious stay-at-home-dad resents the ordinariness of his life, and indulges his daughters under the guise of letting them learn. After her husband Keith leaves her, Beth Wheeler decides to homeschool her daughter, who has severe asthma and allergies. Patterson and Winter, parents of twins, are the least convincing of the families who decide to homeschool. Patterson is inspired by his newfound Christianity, which is briefly and inadequately explained, while Winter is mostly described in terms of her appearance and her laughable business ideas. When Greenberg displays her satirical sense of humor—most often at David's expense—it is certainly welcome, and serves as one of the novel's highlights, but the plot often seems driven by a need to push the three families together, rather than by believable character development. It is unclear what makes Beth and Winter decide to co-teach their children and Patterson's attraction to Beth seems highly unlikely—he sees her as "a disorganized, bumbling woman who [is] a good twenty pounds overweight"—but their affair is convenient for the plot. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/02/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-938849-25-1
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