Sarah's had difficult years before - what high school teacher hasn't? - but this year is the worst. Although Sarah's managed as a single mother well enough, she's frequently exhausted and still angry at the curves life has thrown her way. Shepherding her painfully shy daughter, Jenny, through high school as well as the return of her ex-husband after a twelve-year absence shakes Sarah's fragile equilibrium. Additional trouble comes through the classroom door as Sarah winds up in a disastrous war with two senior boys who are determined to undermine Sarah and dominate her debate team.
Anger and revenge, joy and frustration, and ultimately consequences trap Sarah, her students, and her children as they all learn--through tragedy--that love isn't ownership and that only forgiveness can heal families.
With the backdrop of an American high school, this is a story for anyone who understands that growing up is a life long process, but it is also a story about the dedicated people who teach children. Annette Haws has a clear, steady voice as she opens a window into the troubled world of adolescent angst and the lives of teachers trying to see into that world.