Jane Hudson returns to teach Latin at her old high school, Heart Lake. Heart Lake is an all girls school set on a lake that has tales of drowning and suicide going back fifty years. When one of Jane's student tries to commit suicide, Jane starts seeing striking similarities between the students she is teaching and her own set of friends when she was in school. Twenty years ago, Jane's two roommates and one of her roommate's brother committed suicide. Jane starts to re-live this as the school tries to figure out why Jane's student tried to commit suicide.
The book reminds me of The Secret History by Donna Tartt. They both have school-based mysteries where not everything is as it seems. It is pretty easy to guess what is going on in this book, but it is quite a page turner as the reader tries to figure out why there were suicides 20 years ago, and why history is repeating itself.
I really hated two characters in this book: Domina Chambers, who I thought acted completely inappropriately as a teacher, and Dr. Lockheart who was a complete bitch. Even though it's hard to relate to the kids, and even to Jane, you can still keep enough of a connection with these characters to want to learn what happens to them.
The writing between the past and the present was pretty seamless and the descriptions used created quite a vivid picture. I'd be interested in reading more of Goodman's works.