The mind seems to play a strange yet protective role when stress is too much with which to deal. What sets off the protectionism is variable and different within individuals. Only those who have truly dealt with the fugue and disjointed thoughts and memories can begin to understand the feelings of others who have evinced the same type of shield.
In The Headmasters Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene, we are taken on a strange and unexpected journey. When Arthur Winthrop, Headmaster of Lancaster School, is found wondering naked in Central Park, he is picked up for questioning. It is here that the story of his rise and strange undoing is brought to life though his own self narration to the police department.
As his story unfolds you find yourself immersed in his memories, at times able to comprehend his actions and at others astounded with the attributes he is recalling. We are taken into the life of his wife as well as his tenure within the institution. The twists and turns keep you reading and wondering how a life so full of promise has become so unhinged.
Greene has given us a story of amazing latitudes, making us think of how we would react in similar situations. While the story is totally different, there is a likeness to A Beautiful Mind that teases at your senses. What is it about certain stressors and possible defects that turn the synapsis of the brain into a fighting machine, willing to take on all contenders?
The characters are such an interesting mix, and throughout the work we are given glimpses into the past, the very issues that have brought Arthur to this place in his life. The twists are amazing and the ending is unexpected.
If you enjoy novels that make you think and those that take you into the unimaginable, you will find this to be a terrific find. There is mystery and romance, as well as friendships and hidden agendas.
This would be a terrific book for both a reading group and a book club, with a wealth of information to utilize to keep the discussion lively.