We seem to view teachers in almost the same light that we do religious leaders. Yet, while religious leaders are quick to ‘give testimony’ to the trials that led them to accept their chosen beliefs, teachers remain a bit of an enigma, shadowy creatures whom we trust with the education of our children, but rarely get to know.
“Miss?’, authored by Laurel McHargue, is a beautifully written behind-the-scenes tour of the public education system, as seen through the eyes of an educator, woman and person. There is a haunting sense of familiarity in McHargue’s style, with an undertone that is intimately insightful. Laurel’s Miss? plays many instruments in her orchestral oratory of an academic’s life, as it transverses an ordered mindscape that is barraged by a constant kaleidoscope of chaos.
From the challenges of an inner city school filled with the results of social deprivation, to dealing with heart shattering loss, Miss? is a penned glimpse into an otherwise private world, and a testament to the tales of life that we know little to nothing of. It also beautifully illustrates the many social ills swirling just below our communal consciousness, and just beyond our denial.
However, Miss? is also a tribute to beauty, compassion and empathy, the genetic building blocks of those special people who make their living by educating the masses. I review a lot of books, and I have to say that this one, by Laurel McHargue, stands apart from the rest. There is something so ‘real’ about this book, it is almost as if it allows us to live another’s life, watching a tapestry of woe and wonder being woven from the threads of people’s lives right before our eyes.
If I had to pick a reader demographic that this book best suits, it would be humanity. Miss? by Laurel McHargue captures the mundane with a sense of suspense, treats tragedy with respect, and human nature with honor and dignity. This is not an editorially watered-down volume of literature attempting to be a warm and fuzzy teacher story. Miss? is a real as it gets, so if you are easily offended by reality, this may not be the best book, or planet, for you. Miss? by Laurel McHargue, totally gets my stamp of approval, and a 2013 Santa’s Choice Award! 🙂
Miss? by Laurel McHargue can purchased on Amazon.
About Laurel McHargue:
Laurel McHargue was raised as “Daughter #4” of five girls in Braintree, MA where she lived until heading off to Smith College, followed by the United States Military Academy. Her constant quest for adventure landed her in Leadville, CO where she currently writes and resides with her husband. “Miss?” is Laurel’s first novel. She has several stories published in the popular ‘Not Your Mother’s Book’ series from Publishing Syndicate. Learn more about Laurel’s work at www.leadvillelaurel.com, or on her Leadville Laurel Facebook page.
Book Review By: W. Lewis, Publisher at The Northern Star