The Truants is a coming-of-age campus story set in Norfolk and featuring Jess—a protagonist perceived as aloof and mysterious by others despite her own feelings of inadequacy, a dazzling new group of friends the protagonist is thrilled to be part of, a charismatic professor who blurs the boundaries between teacher and student, plus secrets, lies, infidelities and convoluted family histories.
However, there are also some less traditional elements: in this narrative the subject of adoration is a female professor rather than a male one, which makes it not quite as pervy but equally sinister. I also enjoyed the Agatha Christie theme, in particular the references to her own mysterious disappearance, though the book on the whole is definitely more of a relationship drama than a whodunnit. The South African journalist investigating the Marikana Massacre also added an interested angle.
The Truants is an enjoyable, compelling story that kept me turning the pages to unravel the complicated strands of relationships.
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