When Amy Williams finds herself unemployed, thanks to a surprising loss on Election Day, she realizes that she is ready for a change. Sick of political debate and gridlock, she impulsively accepts a position teaching high school English in an Atlanta suburb.
Brett Gallagher is young, brash and idealistic. Just out of a two-year stint working with Teach for America, she dreams of making the world (or at least the public school system) a more welcoming place for gay teens. She is charming and outgoing, but seemingly incapable of an actual relationship, preferring instead one night stands and casual flings.
Brett and Amy meet at an orientation for new teachers, and there is an immediate attraction. They spend the summer getting to know each other and falling in love despite their differences. By early fall, the two women are enjoying the bliss of a new relationship. But all of that changes when a gay student is harassed and the offender is given a slap on the wrist.
The event brings to a head their contrasting views on life and politics. Brett risks her job by leading an unpopular crusade to convince the conservative school board to amend the student handbook. Despite parental outcry, she argues that they need to include sexual orientation as a protected group alongside race and religion. But Amy, who is uncomfortable in the limelight and fears drawing attention to their personal relationship, wants to work more subtly to teach her students about tolerance and diversity. This dichotomy places a great deal of strain on their fledgling relationship, and each must decide how much she is willing to compromise.
Complete at 85,000 words, Learning Curves is a love story about two women who seek the same goals, but follow different paths. Though the story stands on its own, I am currently working on a second novel starring some of the supporting characters. If you would like to read more about Brett and Amy, a full manuscript is available upon request.