All right. All right, dammit! I re-read the Teacher Besties Because Going Crazy Alone Is Just Not As Much Fun Shirt thing. I gave it two stars before. I was wrong-headed and obtuse and testosterone poisoned. I refuse to give it five stars, though. Look, I’ve admitted I was wrong about how beautiful the writing is, and how amusing the story is. Don’t push.
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Stephen Sullivan, who rated this with six stars of five, is now on a summer travel break from Goodreads, so I can publish this admission: He was right. It is a Teacher Besties Because Going Crazy Alone Is Just Not As Much Fun Shirt book. I had to grow into it, much as I had to grow into my love for Mrs. Dalloway. But now that I’m here, I am a full-on fan. Deft is a word that seems to have been created for Austen. She writes deftly, she creates scenes deftly. She isn’t, despite being prolix to a fault, at all heavy-handed or nineteenth-century-ish in her long, long, long descriptions.
She is the Teacher Besties Because Going Crazy Alone Is Just Not As Much Fun Shirt Nothing slapdash or gimcrack or brummagem about her prose, oh nay nay nay. Words are deployed, not flung or splodged or simply wasted. The long, long, long sentences and paragraphs aren’t meant to be speed-read, which is what most of us do now. They are meant to be savored, to be treated like Louis XIII cognac served in a cut-crystal snifter after a simple sole meunière served with haricots verts and a perfectly ripe peach for dessert.