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The Headmaster's Wife | [Thomas Christopher Greene]

The Headmaster's Wife

Like his father before him, Arthur Winthrop is the Headmaster of Vermont’s elite Lancaster School. It is the place he feels has given him his life, but is also the site of his undoing as events spiral out of his control. Found wandering naked in Central Park, he begins to tell his story to the police, but his memories collide into one another, and the true nature of things, a narrative of love, of marriage, of family and of a tragedy Arthur does not know how to address emerges. Luminous and atmospheric, the novel is part mystery, part love story and an exploration of the ties of place and family.
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Publisher's Summary

An immensely talented writer whose work has been described as “incandescent” (Kirkus) and “poetic” (Booklist), Thomas Christopher Greene pens a haunting and deeply affecting portrait of one couple at their best and worst. Inspired by a personal loss, Greene explores the way that tragedy and time assail one man’s memories of his life and loves. Like his father before him, Arthur Winthrop is the Headmaster of Vermont’s elite Lancaster School. It is the place he feels has given him his life, but is also the site of his undoing as events spiral out of his control. Found wandering naked in Central Park, he begins to tell his story to the police, but his memories collide into one another, and the true nature of things, a narrative of love, of marriage, of family and of a tragedy Arthur does not know how to address emerges. Luminous and atmospheric, bringing to life the tight-knit enclave of a quintessential New England boarding school, the novel is part mystery, part love story and an exploration of the ties of place and family. The Headmaster’s Wife stands as a moving elegy to the power of love as an antidote to grief.

©2014 Thomas Christopher Greene (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (98 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.4 (88 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.7 (92 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Kathi 02-25-14
    Kathi 02-25-14 Member Since 2010

    Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love, tragedy and descent into madness"

    This is a novel which, by turns, reveals the agony of love, grief, and movement into madness. It begins with a dreamy, brief scene depicting Arthur Winthrop, a headmaster in a Vermont boarding school, with his wife and small son, enjoying a family moment in Central Park. This scene is told in a way that evokes sense of a lovely impressionist painting. This is quickly followed by an abrupt shift, Arthur having been arrested for nudity in the park, and now being pressured by the police for an explanation. Only his mind is a jumble of confused memories.

    Told in three parts, with only the first is related by Arthur himself, as he reveals to the listener an escalating plunge into confusion and loss of self control, losing his grip on the steady reserved life he has previously led. He says he is seeking "eternal truth," but the listener is witness to a man losing his hold on reality.

    This is a story told through flashbacks, first and third person viewpoint, and a great deal of poetic language providing the atmosphere and mood. We piece it together as the author gives us glimpses into the slow decompensation of a man's mind.Although Arthur is far from an admirable character, I felt compelled to want to learn what led to his dissolution, and what follows is a revelation of events that clarify emotions so powerful that they are, to him, almost incomprehensible. The narration is quite good. It is a challenge to write a review without saying things that would give too much away. However, I found this a very intense story, well-written and well read.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RueRue 02-27-14
    RueRue 02-27-14

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A different male narrator would improve my rating"
    Where does The Headmaster's Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was a compelling story, but the first half was marred by the monotone of the male narrator. Tavia Gilbert narrated the second half of the book, and she was excellent, as always.


    What other book might you compare The Headmaster's Wife to and why?

    This reminded me of "The Silent Wife" and "Gone Girl". All (3) narratives are told from alternating POV.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending was beautiful, hopeful, and sweet. Vivid and lovely prose throughout.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Steinbeck OH United States 08-31-14
    Nicole Steinbeck OH United States 08-31-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    8
    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "Don't Understand the Hype"
    What would have made The Headmaster's Wife better?

    A better story, better narrators. The people in the story are so miserable, by the end I felt there were no redeeming qualities.


    What could Thomas Christopher Greene have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The characters were well developed, maybe over-developed, but the story was lacking in development. The ending was so boring.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    NO!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Awg 08-18-14
    Awg 08-18-14 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Didn't like the voice of the narrator .i"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I just didn't like the way the story line was going nor the voice of the narrator.


    What could Thomas Christopher Greene have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He should have gotten my attention more in the beginning.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    His voice irrateted me.


    Could you see The Headmaster's Wife being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Didn't get that far.


    Any additional comments?

    I may finish it at another time, guess it just didn't appeal to me at this time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cindy st. paul, MN, United States 06-26-14
    cindy st. paul, MN, United States 06-26-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    Story
    "People never remember events the same way"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I listened to "The Headmaster's Wife" while I was working on something else or while I was driving. I'm glad I didn't waste any actual time listening to this story because the story is dragged on at times.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting: The characters remembering the same events very differently. The least interesting: When Arthur elaborates on his fixation with Betsy. I felt like I was hearing the whispers of an aging pervert going through a mid-life crisis.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    There were parts of the book that made me want to just forward to the very end. The only reason I stuck through the entire book was just so I'd reach the end. The book is split up into three parts; 1) Arthur and Betsy (Arthur's version); 2) Betsy and Arthur (Betsy's version) and 3) the present.


    Could you see The Headmaster's Wife being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    The narrator's performance could have been better but he's not the reason I didn't enjoy the book very much.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a sad book. Don't read this book if you're depressed. This book did not make me feel any better about aging. If anything, the author only highlighted the insecurities felt by aging people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Windermere, FL, United States 04-21-14
    Rachel Windermere, FL, United States 04-21-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "skip this one....."
    What disappointed you about The Headmaster's Wife?

    Sad, depressing book, with a disappointing ending.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Thomas Christopher Greene again?

    probably not.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Nothing, the narrator did his best.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Sadness & disappointment really sum it up.


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't wait for it to be over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 03-27-14
    Robin 03-27-14
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    "Interesting story from different points of view"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I would say it was time well-spent, but there were times I wanted to give up on it. I was glad I did not. I found the first part of the story difficult to listen to mainly because I detested the character telling it. As the book progresses and the other points of view are revealed, my opinion of him changed. That is not to say I began to like him, but I understood him better.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance was well done; every character was recognizable.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was well written and imaginative. It is important to stick with it to the end, though. The beginning is difficult.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mike franklin, tn, United States 03-12-14
    mike franklin, tn, United States 03-12-14 Member Since 2012

    Frist off my name is Cynthia. My husband is Mike, but he has never been a member.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Strange"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This was not one of my favorite books. In fact I almost didn't finish it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Thomas Christopher Greene again?

    not sure.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    The narrators are fine it is the story that I didn't like.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Headmaster's Wife?

    The wife when she is with he boyfriend. It could have been much nicer than it was.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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