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FALLING INTO GLORY by Robert Westall


by Robert Westall

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-374-32256-2
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 Growing up in England during WW II, Robbie was a hugely fat boy, bright but ``weedy,'' the constant butt of taunts and derision. Now, in high school during the postwar era, the fat has miraculously turned to heavy muscle, and Robbie becomes the star of the school rugby team through sheer strength and bulk. Females have started to notice him as well, including Emma Harris, one of the teachers, and she and Robbie begin a flirtation that turns into a dangerous, passionate affair. Westall (The Witness, 1994, etc.) fails to evoke compassion for either the lout Robbie or his neurotic, manipulative teacher. Aside from the fact that US readers generally don't consider sexual liaisons between teachers and students romantic, most will be put off by fumbling sex scenes, gratuitous swearing, a snide attitude toward most of the secondary characters, and British slang so thick that a glossary appears in the back. (Fiction. 12+)