I recently finished reading "Different Class" by Joanne Harris, which I really enjoyed.
This is a dark novel that takes place in St Oswald's, a grammar school in North Yorkshire. The main protagonist is Roy Straitley, who has taught Latin at the school for his entire career, and is now nearing retirement. The book flips between 1981 and 2005 and centres on a disturbing set of events that took place at the school in 1981, exploring the way in which they impinge upon the present (2005). One boy, Johnny Harrington, is centre stage throughout -- first as a pupil at the school and then returning twenty years later as the new 'superhead' whose mission is to bring St Oswald's back from the brink.
The plot is tense and twists and turns throughout. It is only at the very end of the book that you fully understand what happened all those years ago -- and, more importantly, who was responsible.
Harris' prose is a pleasure to read -- tightly crafted, funny and very intelligent.
If you're looking for a book that is both gripping and thought-provoking, I would highly recommend this one.
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