“The Last Lesson of Mrs de Souza”

Perhaps I’m a little too romantic, but I went into this book expecting something profound like Robin William’s ‘carpe diem’ and “The Dead Poet’s Society”. Unfortunately that wasn’t what I got.

The lesson in question here isn’t really one for the students in Mrs de Souza’s class, but for the teacher herself – and a painful one it is too. But by the time of its revelation, we have already been alienated from her as a result of her prior actions years before; in a way, she deserves what she gets. If this distancing is intentional – like that of Mr Stevens in “Remains of the Day” – then it’s well enough done, but overall I found the book a little disappointing. Having said that, I wouldn’t stop anyone reading it!

It isn’t badly written; I guess it just didn’t fit the jigsaw-shaped hole I had already set out for it in my mind.


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