Saturday, May 8, 2010
The Writing Class, by Jincy Willett
Jincy Willett gets my highest accolades: she'll get an A in the journal and I'll pass her on to Alison. She is funny, suspenseful, and acutely aware of human complexity, layers, and flaws. Maybe the plot plodded a little, but it was a very enjoyable ride. The mystery involves a killer who taunts the teacher and members of an adult-ed writing class and ultimately kills two of them. The story is about the compulsion to write and the need for validation. Amy, the teacher and central character, had early writing success, followed by decades when she had nothing to say; two nontraditional marriages; and Alphonse the bassett hound. She is very much the loner; her non-relationships with her students seems to be enough for her. She isn't nice. She is a good teacher though - even the reader learns something about good writing through exposition or example. The only other characters who really took form for me were Carla, the groupie, and the killer.