Role Models

The Best Man by Richard Peck is another 2018 Nutmeg nominee I can check off my list.

The plot revolves around main character Arch.  The story connects two weddings that he is in, beginning with his first at six years old.  This first wedding introduces him to Lynette Stanley, who becomes a friend of sorts (even though she’s a girl).

Lynette’s mom becomes their long-term substitute teacher during their fifth grade year.  Overlooked paperwork also gives their class the very handsome, enigmatic Mr. McLeod as a student teacher.  They have quite a school year, becoming the envy of the sixth graders, and ending with the revelation that Mr. McLeod is gay.

Throughout the year, and the next couple years which whiz by, Arch discovers that his Uncle Paul is also gay.  As you can guess, the final wedding is between his uncle and former student teacher.  Arch has taken cues about being a good man from his beloved grandfather (who passes away during the story), from his dad, his uncle and his teacher.

The choppy narrative style and plot made this a slow read for me.  It is a coming of age story (of sorts) with some decent lessons, but overall not appealing to my tastes.

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