Don\'t underestimate the power of this book to get under your skin. Its genuinely disturbing plot lurks behind the homely story of Judy, a forty-something kindergarten teacher in a Steiner school in small-town America. The Steiner philosophy contributes important elements to the book\'s subtly constructed moral scaffolding: childhood should be \"pure\", untainted by adult concerns. The impossibility of achieving such purity is gradually demonstrated by flashbacks to Judy\'s childhood in rural Germany. Meanwhile, adult Judy becomes involved with 16-year-old Zach. An alternating narrative viewpoint makes it harder for the reader to act as judge and jury: one feels pulled in to the dark complexities of the characters and, to a degree, compromised by their desire. The psychological portraits feel entirely convincing. Set, appropriately enough, against the background of Bill Clinton\'s impeachment over the Monica Lewinsky affair in 1998, this exploration of illicit sex, so chillingly and precisely fleshed out, is a serious pageturner.