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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (353 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lily King Narrator: Christina Moore Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781440799990
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Lily King is the acclaimed author of The Pleasing Hour, a New York Times Notable Book.

In The English Teacher, King pens an emotionally devastating tale of a mother and son-and the turns of fate that threaten their carefully constructed existence. English teacher and single mother Vida Avery has insulated herself and her fifteen-year-old son from almost all outside influence. But her sudden marriage to Tom Belou—and the subsequent integration into Tom’s family-radically alters the course of all of their lives.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Polly | 2/6/2014

    " I most agree with a previous review. It took me a while to care about the main character. I felt sorry for her and mad at her at the same time. But it was a good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catyche | 1/29/2014

    " This is absolutely one one of my favorite novels of all time. It is usually very difficult to qualify any of the books I've read as "favorites." But for its beautiful use of literature as a tool to hint at, (therby encapsulating) old secrets and pain, I will proudly declare this amazing novel as being in my top ten. Underneath it all, a tremendous love story of mother and son, and husband and wife. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pirate | 1/10/2014

    " This was a letdown after Father of the Rain, which was so vivid and heart-wrenching. This novel also had deep angst and dysfunctional families, but it came across as muted somehow. Perhaps since the main character worked so hard to be distant, the storytelling was as well? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/2/2014

    " The core premise, of an emotionally distant parent confronting her demons, is certainly nothing new, but drawing parallels between her modern situation and Tess of the D'Urbervilles worked very well for me. Vida's character clicked for me when she thinks, "Stepparenting is just like teaching." Well, no, it isn't, and Vida is not a very good stepparent, but the moment crystallizes her unwillingness at that point to open her heart and fully experience her life (and Vida MEANS life! get it? okay, that was a little heavy-handed). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 12/28/2013

    " Interesting read, although I did not get very interested until the last few chapters. Then it all came together for me and was quite good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 12/20/2013

    " Although I didn't like this nearly as much as Father of the Rain -- and was periodically maddened and vexed by the protagonist -- I ultimately came to enjoy it quite a bit. A smart novel about the aftermath of trauma and the limited ways people have to deal with it. Not a perfect book by any means, but worth a read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance | 12/13/2013

    " I found this so tedious that I resorted to my childhood habit of skipping to read the last chapter and closing the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen Chandler | 12/7/2013

    " Some aspects of this book are wonderful, I think. The two main characters are very interesting. First of all, there's the mother who thinks she's in control of a life that she compartmentalizes to the point of neglecting her son and her own psychological health. She's out of touch with her feelings and needs, owing to a traumatic experience that remains undisclosed until the end (except for hints). Consequently, her actions sometimes result from unconscious impulses she's clueless about. King does a good job of balancing the woman's flawed consciousness with that of the son Peter, who has been stunted by his mother's lack of nurturing. Peter is a very likable character, and thus his affability balances his mother's sometimes monstrous, self-destructive behavior. A few other characters in the novel are engaging, and the parallel plot of the stepfather's children, whose mother has died suddenly, balances well with the story of Peter and the mother (I'm blanking out on her name). Yet King's plotting gets in the way of the character arcs. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 12/6/2013

    " This book was decent. The title character lives in the books she teaches more than in real life. A tragic experience in her past has seemingly made her afraid of reality. Worth the read, but not one of my favorites. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 11/30/2013

    " I know this author, my mom nannies for her kids. so I had to read her stuff. Great page by page, interesting way of putting things, but overall story was a bit slow & it had a weird ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindi | 11/14/2013

    " I loved this book. Full of angst and quirky characters, it reminded me of the writings of Ann Tyler or early John Irving. I wish I had read Tess of the D'Urbervilles before reading this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 11/12/2013

    " Sort of a domestic fiction with a predictable surprise. The only suspense was wondering when the author was finally going to reveal it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 11/4/2013

    " I loved this book! The characters were so human: frail, strong, foolish, wise, cowardly and brave, sometimes all within the same scene. The writing is delightful, and I'm eager to read more of King's work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 D.j. Lang | 10/26/2013

    " I read the book too long ago to remember what the "secret" was. I remember getting caught up in the story, but I really remember thinking I needed to read Tess of the D'Urbevilles (sp?) again since this fictional English teacher taught it to her 10th graders. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marti | 10/9/2013

    " impressively written story about secrets, choices and redemption. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim Kline | 3/13/2013

    " Finishing the last of Lily King's works...I will be counting the time until she releases her next masterpiece. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean Kelly | 3/8/2013

    " This author really brings characters to life and examines how secrets can destroy relationships between mother, son and husband. Very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 1/19/2013

    " Interesting read on an English teacher whose fears get in the way of real life, but allow her to perseverate about fiction books like Tess of the D'Urbervilles,etc. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Valley Cottage Library | 12/4/2012

    " SUMMER READING CLUB: "Best parts are scenes of the main character teaching English to unruly and uninterested high schoolers. Rest was hard to swallow with an improbable ending." -Alice Kintisch "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/10/2012

    " Not nearly the dramatic thriller it promises to be, but I really liked how it ended. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy McC. Mc.C | 9/30/2011

    " It was a quick read and it was on a recommended list. That's about all I can say about it. It did not engage me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elliott P. | 9/9/2011

    " Book Club recommendation. Month 1. Read Tess and watch the the movie version. Discuss differences. Month 2. Read The English Teacher by Lily King. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 7/17/2011

    " I wasn't sure when I began this book if I would like it. The book ended up being really enjoyable and very hard to put down at the end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 4/24/2011

    " I started this over christmas break and haven't finished it yet...

    Ok finally got around to finishing this. It wasn't good and I didn't like the protagonist and honestly I contemplated not even finishing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 2/5/2011

    " Interesting read, although I did not get very interested until the last few chapters. Then it all came together for me and was quite good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 1/28/2011

    " A little gimmicky, and thus predictable, with the whole Tess thing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 11/30/2010

    " This author really brings characters to life and examines how secrets can destroy relationships between mother, son and husband. Very well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 10/4/2010

    " Finishing the last of Lily King's works...I will be counting the time until she releases her next masterpiece. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 9/27/2010

    " Really good story, well written. I have not read Tess of the d'Ubervilles, whichi probably would have further enhanced my reading experience here. I read it right after reading King's other book, the Pleasing Hour. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Valley Cottage | 9/14/2010

    " SUMMER READING CLUB: "Best parts are scenes of the main character teaching English to unruly and uninterested high schoolers. Rest was hard to swallow with an improbable ending." -Alice Kintisch "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linnet | 8/21/2010

    " Two single parents marry, try to make a family but with disastrous results for her son, Peter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dottie | 7/29/2010

    " Single mother...complicated relationship with her son and further complications when she marries and the resulting blended family. I enjoyed this book... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Polly | 5/30/2010

    " I most agree with a previous review. It took me a while to care about the main character. I felt sorry for her and mad at her at the same time. But it was a good book.
    "

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