Charles Goldforbes is the new Latin teacher at Rydon Hall, the third best boys’ prep school in Churley, south-west London. Along with the job come two related problems.
One is the hideous Florian Bavington, aged 13 but already a master of low-level disruption. The other is the disturbingly alluring Natasha Bavington, Florian’s mother.
Drama unfolds as Charles accompanies Florian and the rest of Year 8 on the annual school trip to Egypt, a country which just happens to be on the brink of revolution.
The Arab Spring is underway but the tour party’s problems are only just beginning.
Rydon Hall captures brilliantly the spirit of an all-boys’ school – and those who teach there. The recklessness and over-confidence of Florian and his friends are in turn both hilarious and exasperating.
Very funny but also very dark, this novel is about desperation, disappointment, self-delusion and every parent’s worst nightmare. It is also about global terror, bogus celebrity, Skype and excruciating sex.