Excerpt from Master Class by Christina Dalcher, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Master Class

by Christina Dalcher

Master Class by Christina Dalcher X
Master Class by Christina Dalcher
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2020, 336 pages

    Mar 2021, 352 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Mark Anthony Ayling
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About this Book

Print Excerpt

What I never said was, "You've squeaked by each time. You'll squeak by again." That wouldn't do a bit of good.

Anne emerges from the hall, still glued to her iPad, swiping and pinching and expanding, reciting numbers. "Nine-point-one. Quel dud," she says. "Oof. Eight-point-eight. Major dud." And "Oh, Mom, you should see this one from that school in Arlington. He's down to eight-point-two-six and doesn't look like he could pass a blood test. Gag."

"Eight-point-three used to count as a B," I remind her.

"Not anymore, Mom."

She's just like her father, I think, but I don't say it out loud. As far as Anne is concerned, the sun rises and sets on-and probably revolves around-Malcolm. There is that, at least.

"Where's your sister?" I ask, buttoning my raincoat. Anne tells me she's on her way.

Anne's silver bus, the one that goes to the top-tier school with the rest of the nine-point-somethings, has turned the corner and starts to slow, its stop-sign wings unfolding as it approaches the pickup point. There's a trail of cars behind it, students clutching shiny identification cards in the backseats, waiting to be let out. A steel gray Lexus SUV, the first in line, pulls to the curb, and the rear door swings open. I've seen the girl before, at one of those parent-teacher days they hold at Anne's school every fall. Today her hair hangs in thick, uncombed ringlets around her face, but enough of her eyes show that I can see the whites of them, the look of a frightened dog, when she catches sight of the yellow bus up the street.

Anne joins me at the front window, backpack slung over one shoulder, silver passcard clutched in one hand.

"That girl," I say, "she looks nervous."

"She shouldn't be," Anne says. "Sabrina's Q is fine. Then, in a confidential whisper: "Not like Jules Winston. Jules barely passed last week's advanced calculus test." She takes a bite of apple, swipes again at her iPad.

Excerpted from Master Class by Christina Dalcher. Copyright © 2020 by Christina Dalcher. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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