Good Reading : July 2017
BOOK BITE 1 BOOK BITE BOOK BITE 1 BOOK BITE 1 THE GOOD TEACHER BY R M ANDERSON GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING JULY 2017 30 For the second time that day Jennifer was surprising herself, if not downright astounding herself. She was conducting the meeting as if nothing had happened – as if she had not just been in that office, a couple of metres from where she sat, half-naked and noisy, not 15 minutes ago. She was still clammy in places she hadn’t been for years. No-one would ever guess by her manner or her deportment, not even her husband, Andy, what she had just been doing. Her words came out without a quaver. Her eyes were dry, her face unlined. Jennifer Booth was organised and in control. Everything was as normal. Everything except for that damn pen. She tried putting it down but then her hand started to drum loudly on the table. She picked the pen up again and gripped it tightly, forcefully, but it wouldn’t stop. All she could do was ignore it. Let them make of it what they would. At first she had thought everyone was looking at her, knowing and appalled. She stared them down, ready to deny insinuation and even accusation. But gradually she realised they were focused on fundraising and family matters and the trivia of their week. They knew nothing of the drama in her heart and her head. What little people they were, oblivious to the passions of the world, only half alive. Still, she’d known that long before she’d had animated congress on the principal’s desk in among the requisitions for sports gear and counting books. Except for Sarah Howard. Sarah looked peaky. And was it her imagination or did she flash, right at the beginning, the briefest look of shock, and even disapproval, before she looked up and away? Was there something she’d seen? Something left over: hair from Brock’s moustache? Part of a requisition stuck to her top? Jennifer nonchalantly ran her hands down her shoulders and wiped her face. And then Sarah was gone, citing illness. Probably that was all it was. The walls were no doubt lined Stony Creek is a quiet farming community where good manners, goodwill and fairness must be upheld at all costs. No-one embodies these values more than P&C president Jennifer Booth. But the face that Jennifer presents to her community and the face that she presents to her lover are very different. In this extract from The Good Teacher, Jennifer is trying to make herself look presentable after a quick and clammy assignation with someone who was not her husband.