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A Terrible Beauty

D.W. St. John
Poison Vine Books , English

After suffering the greatest of personal tragedies, Dai O’Connel is no longer
willing to lie. A headstrong Welshman twenty years in an Oregon classroom, he
refuses either to lower standards or to implement the feel-good nonsense of Outcome Based Curriculum, and as a result is targeted for dismissal. Sent to document his failings is Solange Gonsalvás, Oregon’s youngest assistant superintendent. Known both for breathtaking attractiveness and her dedication to the job, she is relentless in pursuit of incompetent teachers. Deeply believing she can make the district’s schools better, while struggling with her own concept of what school should be, Solange finds O’Connel not at all as she expected. Principled, confident, very good at what he does, Dai is not the kind of teacher Solange forces from the classroom—but more than competence is at stake. District politicos demand O’Connel’s ouster, and if Solange wants the top job, she must take his. Bewildered by the intense attraction she feels for the man, Solange must choose between ruining an outstanding teacher’s career and furthering her own, a career for which she’s sacrificed everything.

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