Linda’ Book Obsession reviews “Master Class” by Christina Dalcher, Berkley. April 21,2020
Christina Dalcher, author of “Master Class” has given her novel the perfect title, which can be interpreted in many ways. This is a terrifying, suspenseful, intense, edgy, psychological thriller that is extremely thought-provoking and frightening. The genres for this novel are Thriller and Fiction, although there is some type of Eugenic studies and experiments that are mentioned, that actually occurred many years ago. The author describes her characters as flawed, dysfunctional, complicated, and complex. A few are psychopathic and possibly sociopathic. I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but Freud would have had a field day analyzing some of the characters.
Elena Fairchild is a teacher in a complex teaching setting where students and teachers are defined by their Q (“quotient). Malcolm Fairchild, her husband is instrumental in devising the standards for the Q. Their older daughter is extremely competent, and their 9-year-old daughter seems to have a testing phobia, and at times acts out. In this system the children with low Q scores are often sent away to a state school, where they have to stay.
It seems there younger daughter has not done well on a test and is being sent to a state school. Elena’s older grandmother keeps warning her to get her daughter out. Elena teaches in an elite school and has to devise a plan to get her daughter back. You might wonder why Malcolm Fairchild is letting his youngest daughter be sent away. I wouldn’t say that Malcolm is the father of the year, or for that matter husband of the year. I do have some titles for him that I can’t put in writing.
I was so shocked at many things in this story that I couldn’t put this book down, and I couldn’t fall asleep after reading it. This is quite an intensely suspenseful, disturbing, horrific, and thought-provoking novel that I would recommend for those readers who appreciate a chilling thriller.