A life in a book

  • Book: The Italian Teacher
  • Location: London, New York City (NYC), Rome, The South of France (Le Midi)
  • Author: Tom Rachman

Review Author: Bev Bookless



It took me a little time to settle into this book. However, once there I discovered a story of a powerful, controlling, talented man with the name of Bear, which I felt was a very appropriate name.
The story is about his son, Charles, also known by his nickname Pinch. I found it a compelling read about him trying to seek his identity in the shadow of Bear. Mimicking his painting style and having no self belief in his own talents.
Bear has several failed marriages, I lost count, and 17 children. He had a ‘distant’ or even non-existent relationship with most of them.
I’ve just realised that so far, this review is about Bear and not Charles, the main character. His presence, the way he undermines his son, intentionally or not is so prominent throughout the book.
You get a sense of the cut throat world of art. I was shocked at how Charles siblings responded to him being the sole beneficiary to Bear’s will.
In terms of location, you get a good sense of French Catalonia, the isolation and wilderness. The early part of the book is set in Rome and is very memorable. Loved the cover too.

Back to book

Sign up to receive our e-newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Enter the inaugural TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

750 - 3000 words with strong 'sense of place' theme

Short story, travelogue, or memoir

Top judges to decide the winners

Cash prizes totalling £500 / $600 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 15th November 2020