A middle-aged civil servant moves back to her old Brooklyn neighborhood and, reunited with her childhood best friend, confronts the damage done by their charismatic, sexually exploitative 8th grade teacher.
Reviews and Mentions
Didn’t it Feel Good? —Autobiographical guest post
on The Manifest-Station, 4/18/19
A Conversation with Lucinda Rosenfeld
—LA Review of Books Blog, 4/18/19
Revising My Novel Unearthed a #metoo Story
—essay by me on LitHub, 4/18/19
Five Books in Which the Past is a Foreign Country
—interview on Bookmarks/LitHub, 4/17/19
Review by Lorraine Duffy Merkl
—Red Hook Star-Revue, 4/3/19
Brooklyn Heights Author Reads from New Novel
— Brooklyn Heights Blog, 3/26/19
“Rachel Cline’s brilliant third novel The Question Authority, about a pedophilic teacher from the narrator’s childhood, perfectly captures the zeitgeist of liberal Brooklyn in the 1970s and tells a story that intersects (in complicated and thought-provoking ways) with the contemporary #metoo movement. Hillary Richard says ‘Cline’s writing is so engaging and the characters so finely drawn that you don’t want the book to end.’"
— The Woolfer, 3/10/19
“Nora is a beautifully crafted character.” — Kirkus Reviews , 2/1/19
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS AUTHOR RACHEL CLINE’S NEW BOOK LOOKS AT METOO — 9 YEARS BEFORE THE MOVEMENT STARTED
Red Hook Star Revue, 2/1/19
Believe the Women — Publishers Weekly, 11/16/18
Rachel Cline's The Question Authority does just that, with heart-stinging clarity. So in touch with the present moment that it might have been written last week, so skillful that it couldn't have been, this prescient novel deserves your attention.
A gripping, provocative story about bright young girls in thrall to a charismatic teacher, and his haunting impact on their adult lives. Set in two Brooklyns, that of the 1970s and of 2009, the novel adds depth and nuance to our ongoing conversation about #MeToo revelations. Cline's characters are drawn with delightful wit and a keen eye, as well as a striking and profound tenderness for youthful innocence and longing. I devoured this novel, and it has stayed with me long after I turned the last page.
Nora Buchbinder―formerly rich and now broke―would be the last woman in Brooklyn to claim #MeToo, but when a work assignment reunites her with her childhood best friend, Beth, she finds herself in a hall of mirrors. Was their eighth grade teacher Beth's lover or her rapist? Where were the grown-ups? What should justice look like, after so much time has passed? And what can Nora do, now? From denial to reinvention, self-pity to self-righteousness, endless questioning to intransigent certainty, readers will recognize the ripples sent into the lives of others by one broken man