Finished Staggerford by Jon Hassler. Published in 1977, this was his first novel, set in small town Minnesota. It spans a week of events in the town of Staggerford. The protagonist, a high school English teacher, does his best to meet his daily obligations to his classes and colleagues. He also does his best to help a student in crisis.
Hassler's characters are finely drawn. I settled into reading this book comfortably. Way too comfortably, because the chain of events towards the end of the novel shocked the hell out of me. That's all I'll say about that. I loved this book and was deeply affected by it. Anyone who does not understand the Chicago teacher's strike should spend a weekend with this book.