Outstanding is quite a difficult book to categorise. It feels like contemporary fiction trying to be literary fiction. While essentially it is a book about relationships and the complexities therein it feels like Flett is trying to make a significant comment about them. Though for the life of me I’m not sure what.
Eve is the head teacher of a private school with an OFSTED rating of outstanding. She has been there for ten years and has a good relationship with the owner, Tony, and her PA is one of her best friends.
It appears that Eve is a much better Head than she is a mother. Her relationships with her two teenage daughters are lacking. Events come to pass that reveal that she doesn’t actually know either of them particularly well.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. It took me three attempts to get all the way through and none of the characters is particularly sympathetic or deserving of public support. Daughter Zoe is naive and stupid, gay ex-husband Simon is slightly sleazy and annoying. It has no likeable people – people that you’d want to know.
Supplied by Net Galley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.