A Lambda Literary Award Finalist from the author of Don’t Let Me Go. “[A] gripping tale of love, hate of differences and owning up to who you are.”—VOYA
Robert Westfall’s life is falling apart—everywhere but in math class. That’s the one place where problems always have a solution. But in the world beyond high school, his father is terminally ill, his mother is squabbling with his interfering aunts, his boyfriend is unsupportive, and the career path that’s been planned for him feels less appealing by the day. Robert’s math teacher, Andrew McNelin, watches his best student floundering, concerned but wary of crossing the line between professional and personal. Gradually, Andrew becomes Robert’s friend, then his confidante. As the year progresses, their relationship—in school and out of it—deepens and changes. And as hard as he tries to resist, Andrew knows that he and Robert are edging into territory that holds incalculable risks for both of them.
J.H. Trumble, author of the acclaimed Don’t Let Me Go, explores a controversial subject with extraordinary sensitivity and grace, creating a deeply human and honest story of love, longing, and unexpected connection.
“The heart of the novel lies in the complicated, nuanced love between student and teacher. Andrew and Robert find solace in each other, daring to risk the consequences of their relationship being discovered.”—Publishers Weekly
“Moving . . . poignant . . . characters you can’t help but root for.”—RT Book Reviews (4½ stars)
“A page-turner.”—Instinct Magazine
“The story of Andrew and Robert is one not to be forgotten.”—Chris Verleger, contributor, EDGE on th
In Trumble's second novel (after Don't Let Me Go), high school senior Robert Westfall appears to have it all: he's a good student, a member of the band, and has a popular boyfriend. When his father is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, however, he has nowhere to turn. His overbearing aunts monopolize his mother's attention and his boyfriend, Nic, spends most of his time with his cheerleader friends, telling Robert he "doesn't do sick people." It's Andrew McNelis, a young calculus teacher, who notices Robert's quiet suffering and offers his support. As Robert continues to seek Andrew out, their relationship turns romantic, breaking the teacher-student boundary and threatening both of their futures. While characters like Nic and Robert's aunts who are obsessed with Robert becoming a doctor to carry on the "Westfall name" are too one-note to be believable, the heart of the novel lies in the complicated, nuanced love between student and teacher. Andrew and Robert find solace in each other, daring to risk the consequences of their relationship being discovered.