The Good Teacher is the first book in the Women of the Willow Wood series written by Lorraine Carey. About to start as the new third grade teacher at Mesa Luna Elementary, Daniella Reyes awakens from a nightmare about her abusive father who had died in a car accident ten years earlier. While her hatred of her dead father still runs deep, Daniella tries to focus all of her energy into her new job. Hundreds of crows watch Daniella as she leaves her home on her very first day on the job, and then follow her to the school. The school's principal seems infatuated with her, yet gains pleasure in bullying her while finding fault in almost everything she does. After one of her students is assaulted by his father at home, Daniella's empath powers kick in and she tries to help the child, only to be stopped by the principal who has nothing but respect for the child's abuser - one of the town's police officers - who flirts blatantly with Daniella, regardless that he is married. Slowly Daniella starts figuring out the pieces of the puzzle which is her crazy life, and she is shocked to discover that her dead father might be the key.
I cannot express how much I enjoyed The Good Teacher. With so many aspects of this tale that I could relate to, I found Daniella to be a character which was absolutely believable. The paranormal events deepened the storyline significantly, adding a whole new edge to the tale. Lorraine Carey's insight and imagination are beyond impressive and she has flawlessly captured the emotional turmoil of a battered woman who is fighting to save the life of another. The main character has a total slime-ball for a boss, a narcissist for a supervisor, and unwelcome sexual advances from a predatory woman/child abuser. The Good Teacher stirred up a whirlpool of emotions as the story progressed and reached its shocking climax. I recommend The Good Teacher to all readers who enjoy books with a realistic mix of drama, mystery, humor, intrigue and heartache as in this unbeatable paranormal thriller.