I had read and loved Vox, so I had this pre-ordered for months in advance because I knew it would be a home run. I was about halfway into Master Class when I posted my reaction to this in emojis which went from: wow to shock to horror, and I think that perfectly sums up the brilliance that is Master Class.
I won’t summarize this as I normally do because I think the blurb speaks for itself. My emotions were everywhere regarding Elena. In equal parts, I sympathized with her and hated her. I watched in horror as the worst thing imaginable happened to her and adored her determination in getting Freddie back. I hated her husband Malcolm from the very first introduction, and I cheered on Dalcher for creating such fantastic characters that could make my emotions swing so wildly. The setup of a country going so awry is our worst nightmare. We could easily give up our power in little pieces as the characters did because it seems the right thing to do.
I wanted to read some poorer rated reviews on Goodreads because I wanted to see why people aren’t screaming in joy from the rooftops about the brilliance of Master Class. I struggle with people that poorly rated it because they hated the characters because that means Dalcher has done her job.
While I knew about the US eugenics programs, it didn’t make this any easier to read. This could easily happen again with everything going on in the world, and the way we’ve slid back in time with things we thought we were overcoming. I loved the social aspect of this, and I loved the inclusion of the characters which plays a huge role in the book. I found myself racing towards the finish to see some resolution but slowed myself down because I didn’t want to see the book end. This is a brilliant, haunting work of art.
It’s impossible to know what you will do…
Every child’s potential is regularly determined by a standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and attend a top tier school with a golden future. Score too low, and it’s off to a federal boarding school with limited prospects afterwards. The purpose? An improved society where education costs drop, teachers focus on the more promising students, and parents are happy.
When your child is taken from you.
Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s elite schools. When her nine-year-old daughter bombs a monthly test and her Q score drops to a disastrously low level, she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal institution hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena thought she understood the tiered educational system, but as a mother whose child is now gone, Elena’s perspective is changed forever. She just wants her daughter back.
And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen.