Like his father before him, Arthur Winthrop is the headmaster of Vermont's elite Lancaster School. It is the place he feels has given him his life, but is also the site of his undoing as events spiral out of his control. Found wandering naked in Central Park, he begins to tell his story to the police, but his memories collide into one another, and the true nature of things, a narrative of love, of marriage, of family, and of a tragedy Arthur does not know how to address emerges.
Luminous and atmospheric, bringing to life the tight-knit enclave of a quintessential New England boarding school, the novel is part mystery, part love story, and an exploration of the ties of place and family. Beautifully written and compulsively readable, The Headmaster's Wife stands as a moving elegy to the power of love as an antidote to grief.
Paperback release Feb 2015. First published in hardcover Feb 2014.
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Some of the recent comments posted about The Headmaster's Wife:
A Q&A with Thomas Christopher Greene
I think I poured a big piece of my heart into this book. I was less aware of the artifice of writing a novel and just letting it go—raw emotion, sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, but always very real, I hope. Especially Elizabeth’s point of view—... - davinamw
Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?
Yes, I liked how it all ended. I wasn't sure I liked the book as I started reading it (I had no sympathy for, and was impatient with, Arthur), but then after the first twist I really got into it and enjoyed it. - josephinej
Do you think Elizabeth ever truly loved Arthur?
I would doubt it very much. She saw Arthur as a way to bring her dreams of being "The Headmaster's Wife" to fruition. She had her life, and Arthur's, all planned out and was successful in creating that life. Howver, she left out what I would ... - Lea Ann
Do you think it's possible for grief to cause a person to lose their grip on reality the way it did Arthur?
I think it was instilled in Arthur to have high expectations of himself and his family. With his only child failing to meet that expectation, he lost his identity and sense of self. - mariannem
Have you read other books by Thomas Christopher Greene? If so, how do you think they compare to The Headmaster's Wife?
No, but I've already looked for others at my library. And, I'll propose this book as one to read at my book club. Lots to discuss! - pamelathereader
"Part of a grand literary tradition ... Greene's plot has the tight, relentless pacing of a fine detective novel ... Deeply felt ... and utterly absorbing." - The Washington Post
"Starred Review. This is a riveting psychological novel about loss and the terrible mistakes and compromises one can make in love and marriage. Essential for fans of literary fiction." - Library Journal
"Although the puzzle element threatens to overwhelm the narrative, this is a moving testament to the vicissitudes of love and loss, regret and hope." - Kirkus
"Nothing is what it appears in this brilliant story of a life gone awry, in Greene's fourth novel set in New England (after 2007's Envious Moon)." - Publishers Weekly
"Greene's genre-bending novel of madness and despair evokes both the predatory lasciviousness of Nabokov's classic, Lolita, and the anxious ambiguity of Gillian Flynn's contemporary thriller, Gone Girl (2012)." - Booklist
"A truly remarkable novel, I read the second half of The Headmaster's Wife with my mouth open, my jaw having dropped at the end of the first half. Thomas Christopher Greene knows how to hook a reader and land him." - Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Empire Falls
"An accomplished and artful storyteller, Greene has surprises in store as he unspools a plot that becomes as poignant as it is unpredictable." - Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed
"I devoured this book. It has all the hooks - a mystery, a marriage, an investigation, a loss, a close-up of a society I'm not privy to and yet, at its heart, there are unexpected love stories embedded within." - Julianna Baggott, New York Times bestselling author of Pure
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Thomas Christopher Greene is the author of four novels: Mirror Lake, I'll Never be Long Gone, Envious Moon and The Headmaster's Wife. His fiction has been translated into eleven languages and has won many awards and honors. In 2007, Tom founded the Vermont College of Fine Arts, a top fine arts college, making him the youngest college president in America at that time. He lives in Montpelier, VT, with his family.
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