Review: The Italian Teacher

The Italian Teacher The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This brilliant story follows the life of Pinch, son of a famous American painter, Bear Bavinsky, and an unknown Canadian pottery artist, Natalie. Pinch's parents met in Italy while Natalie was modeling for Bear. Bear is bigger than life, quite loud and makes promises that he does not keep. He is also a cheat and eventually, Natalie asks him to leave. This leaves Pinch without a father. Pinch worships his father and finds himself desperately needing to get his approval. With Natalie’s encouragements, Pinch starts painting using his father's studio. While visiting his father and new family in the US, Pinch shows one of his paintings to Bear. His hopes and dreams are shattered when Bear declares that Pinch's painting is terrible and that he will never be an artist.

Years after years, Pinch struggles through mediocre jobs and relationships. He constantly tries to get closer to his father, but only finds disappointment. To help one of his half-siblings, Pinch does the unthinkable and finds himself in a complicated web of lies. This act of betrayal leads to more lies and Pinch is unable to stop the wheel from turning towards a potential disaster.

Tom Rachman's writing is beautiful and sincere. His characters are unique and complex. The story is touching and offers a full spread of emotions which brings the reader to become an accomplice to the plot. I fully recommend this book.

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