Donna Tartt meets Jamie Langston Turner in this engrossing novel from Christy Award–winner Tatlock (All the Way Home). Beth Gunnar has returned to her alma mater, Seaton Prep, to teach English. She is haunted by an unresolved mystery from her student days—the unexplained disappearance of a favorite teacher—but discovering what happened to Mr. Dutton is not all that absorbs Beth's attention. She reconnects with a high school flame and becomes something of a surrogate mother to a precocious, charming student named Satchel Queen. Beth's Christian faith also deepens, though Tatlock handles that theme with a refreshingly light touch. The dialogue is snappy, and Tatlock's prose is charming (There seemed to be no clear answer to the mystery that was Theodore Dutton, with all the whys left dangling before me like fruit gone bad on the vine). Overall, Tatlock's produced a winner and the ending offers a good setup for a sequel, although the twists and turns in the romantic subplot are predictable, the character of Beth's best friend, Natalie, is underdeveloped, and it's hard to believe that bookish and literarily sophisticated Beth doesn't cotton to the symbolism in the book of Hosea, which her father patiently explains.