Synopses & Reviews
Lesson Plans is a captivating and funny novel centered on the lives of three families, each of which has chosen to homeschool for a different reason. Suzanne Greenberg weaves her tale through the perspective of four characters: Patterson, a Christian surfer; David, an empathetic liberal stay-at-home dad who feels stuck in suburbia; Beth, a full-time mom at loose ends; and Beth's six-year-old daughter, Jennifer. As their stories progress and their lives intertwine, each family's challenges loom larger. In a highly entertaining way, Lesson Plans takes a serious look at the choices parents profess to make on behalf of their children.
Suzanne Greenberg is a professor of English and creative writing at California State University Long Beach. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including the Mississippi Review, West Branch, and the Washington Post Magazine. Her collection of short stories, Speed-Walk and Other Stories, was the recipient of the 2003 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. She is the co-author of Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink and co-author of the children's novels Abigail Iris: The One and Only, and Abigail Iris: The Pet Project. She received her BA from Hampshire College and her MFA from the University of Maryland. She lives in Long Beach, California, with her husband and three children.
Library Journal Editors Pick
Readers Digest Great Books from Small Presses That Are Worth Your Time”
Witty and insightful.” Readers Digest
Readers who enjoyed Tom Perrottas Little Children will want to try Suzanne Greenbergs Lesson Plans, an entertaining, funny, and thoughtful debut novel about three California homeschooling families.” Library Journal Editors Pick citation
Lesson Plans is a complex, character-driven story written with clarity about the intersecting lives of ordinary parents, the choices they make and the long-term effects of these choices on their children. Author Suzanne Greenberg mines the territory of Tom Perrotta with a fresh take on todays suburban subcultures and entwined family relationships. Crafted with skill and depth, the characters stay with you long after the book ends.” LIAN DOLAN, author of Elizabeth the First Wife and Helen of Pasadena
In her new novel Lesson Plans, Suzanne Greenberg brings her slyly humorous eye to a group of homeschoolers in Southern California. Following three families whose lives are unraveling, Greenberg lays bare the illusions and despair of these characters, their loneliness and longing for love. But she also shows us hope springing to life as reliably as vacant lot weeds. Greenberg is an unapologetically honest writer, with a sharp eye for how easily any life can veer off course.” CAI EMMONS, author of His Mothers Son and The Stylist
Reading Suzanne Greenbergs Lesson Plans, I was schooled in the nuances of the human heart and privy to the most illuminating of chalkboards. Greenberg possesses a satirists wit and a realists sharp eye for details. Lesson Plans has everything: depth, humor, insight, a compelling, page-turning story and deftly crafted, unforgettable characters. This is a brilliant debut novel, a completely engrossing look at contemporary suburban America.” LISA GLATT, author of A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That and The Apples Bruise
All good parents want to protect their children from the perils of the world around them. Not all parents put their childrens needs before their own. Or find the balance between the two. A story set within the arcane world of homeschooling, rooted in place and time and misplaced love, there are no heroes or villains in Suzanne Greenbergs heartbreaking tale of families torn asunder by the conflict of good intentions and desire.” PEGGY HESKETH, author of Telling the Bees
Homeschooling will never be the same after Suzanne Greenbergs hilarious, poignant, and cinematic debut novel, Lesson Plans, about three families whose lives change profoundly through the wild, exhausting, and redemptive journey that homeschooling actually requires. This bittersweet novel is a survival manual for intelligent parents willing to take a hard road, and for any reader, a sheer delight.” HOWARD NORMAN, Two-time National Book Award Finalist for The Northern Lights and The Bird Artist
This funny, gripping debut novel tells the story of three California families as they struggle with homeschooling.
Library Journal Editor's PickReader's Digest "Great Books from Small Presses That Are Worth Your Time"
"Witty and insightful." --Reader's Digest
"Readers who enjoyed Tom Perrotta's Little Children will want to try Suzanne Greenberg's Lesson Plans, an entertaining, funny, and thoughtful debut novel about three California homeschooling families." --Library Journal Editor's Pick citation
Lesson Plans chronicles the lives of three California families who choose to homeschool for different, deeply personal reasons.
Patterson is a straight-laced insurance adjuster who has recently discovered both surfing and God and convinces his wife to homeschool their rambunctious twins. David is a liberal stay-at-home dad who feels stuck in suburbia and throws his energy into homeschoolong his three "ducklings." Wedding photographer Keith has just separated from Beth, a full-time mom struggling to manage her own private chaos. And there's Jennifer, Keith and Beth's precocious daughter, who copes with severe allergies and doesn't understand why she's not attending school and seeing friends like she used to. Will homeschooling provide balance and harmony for these families? Or will it bring unforeseen challenges and stress?
In this captivating and funny debut novel, Suzanne Greenberg takes a serious look at the choices parents profess to make on behalf of their children, as well as the unpredictable ways in which new relationships can change our lives.
Suzanne Greenberg is the author of Speed-Walk and Other Stories, which was selected for the Drue Heinz Literature Prize by Rick Moody and was a John Gardner Fiction Book Award Finalist. She is also the co-author of two novels for children and a guide to creative writing. Lesson Plans is her first novel for adults.
A New Jersey native, Greenberg lives with her husband and three children in California and teaches creative writing at California State University, Long Beach.
About the Author
Suzanne Greenberg, whose fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in the Mississippi Review, West Branch, and Washington Post Magazine, is the author of Speed-Walk and Other Stories, which was selected for the Drue Heinz Literature Prize by Rick Moody and was a John Gardner Fiction Book Award Finalist. She is also the co-author of two novels for children, Abigail Iris: The One and Only and Abigail Iris: The Pet Project, as well as the book Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink. Lesson Plans is her first novel for adults. A New Jersey native, Greenberg lives with her husband and three children in California and teaches creative writing at California State University, Long Beach.