The book cover of The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

Kristina Riggle’s novel, The Whole Golden World, focuses on a romance between a high school student and her popular teacher. She also happens to be the principal’s daughter.

Morgan has always been considered “the old soul” in her family. She has always been on the sidelines, the girl who seems much older than she really is. “Dependable Mo.”

A Disenchanted Husband/School Teacher:

TJ Hill has become disenchanted with his suddenly lackluster marriage. He loves his wife, Rain. But she has been so consumed with getting pregnant that all the fun has gone out of their lives.

Now it’s all about doctor’s appointments and schedules instead of love and intimacy.

TJ sees that Morgan is attracted to him. They begin to talk after class.

He pretends he doesn’t see that she is falling in love with him. For TJ Hill is in love with who he is in her eyes. He suddenly feels like a hero.

Of course this spirals out of control pretty quickly and they begin to sneak around. In the beginning they are careful. But as time goes on, they become reckless.

Policemen Become Involved:

Suddenly policemen are pounding on the window of his car and she is found half-naked.

There is a trial. Rain believes her husband is innocent. She stands by his side, as any wife would, she tells herself. But over time, there are little clues here and there that say he isn’t as innocent as he says.

He is swearing up and down that Morgan is a sick girl and delusional. That she is just trying to get back at him for turning her away.

Morgan’s family has been decimated by this tragic event in their lives. Their daughter insists she loves him, and he loves her. That she will do nothing to hurt him or send him away.

Frustrated By A Daughter Who Thinks They Are Equals:

They are frustrated by her insistence that they are “equals.” It doesn’t help that she sits behind him every day in court.

I won’t spoil the outcome. This book is one to savor. Riggle is deft at being inside the mind of each one of her characters.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that the story is fictional. It is in fact based on a true story.

This is a book you won’t want to put down. It is a thought-provoking look at the inherent power a teacher has over his student, although he may not be much older than she is.

Exploitation Of Power:

It is considered exploitation of his power as her teacher.

The Whole Golden World is told from the perspectives of three remarkably strong women. It is both shocking and unforgettable.

Kristina Riggle is also the author of Keepsake, Things We Didn’t Say, The Life You’ve Imagined, and Real Life & Liars. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband, two kids and a dog.

Marketing Campaign:

This is part of a marketing campaign by William Morrow/Harper Collins. I am sent the galleys to read free.

But the opinions I have of the novel are mine and not swayed in any way by the campaign.

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