2009: 27. Ms. Hempel Chronicles

“Many of Ms. Hempel’s students were performing in the show that evening, but to her own secret disappointment, she would not be appearing.”

Ms. Hempel Chronicles, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

This is novel tells the story of Ms. Hempel, a young woman who teaches junior high school.  In some ways its sort of a slight novel - not much happens in it - but it captures an emotional truth that is so real that it makes the slender a real stand out.  Ms. Hempel is young and uncertain, torn between being an adult who has to mentor and teach these children, and feeling like one of them.  It is such a snapshot of young adulthood, and how uncertain one can feel at that time, especially as a woman.  I haven’t read a lot of books like this - you read so much about young men drifting through life (like, oh, Augie March), and so I appreciated a story about a woman figuring out what she wants to do with her life and how she’ll grow up.

Date/Place Completed:  February 2009; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction; Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017