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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Schooling (2001) by Heather McGowan

Image result for balthus painting
Thérèse by Balthus, used as the cover illustration for Schooling by Heather McGowan.
Book Review
Schooling (2001)
 by Heather McGowan

  Schooling is the debut novel by American writer Heather McGowan.  It was published in 2001 to general acclaim, including being named the 2001 Newsweek Book of the Year. Adorable! Who knew such a thing existed?  McGowan didn't really make a career out of it- she's got a stub Wikipedia page and no Facebook page.   That's just evidence that she doesn't have much of an audience, not that those things matter in particular. 

  Like all other stream-of-consciousness style novels I've ever read, Schooling is not fun, despite the distinct impression of naughtiness conveyed by the decision by the publisher to use Thérèse (above) by Balthus as the cover illustration.    All I'm going to say is, that, the use of the cover illustration and some of the text leads me to the conclusion that thirteen year old Catrine Evans has sex with Mr. Gilbert, the piano teacher. Is that a spoiler? Not if you understand the context of the Balthus painting they use as the cover illustration.  That painting pretty much signifies child sex, even if in an artsy sense.   After I finished Schooling, I went online and read reviews- something I should have done BEFORE or DURING the reading, because there were major plot elements that I just missed entirely.

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