The novel is the story of Olivia, a dedicated teacher in inner-city New York who works with at-risk high school students as they struggle through family hardship, violence, drugs, and teen pregnancy. Meanwhile, Olivia and her husband, Tom struggle to conceive their first child and face the frustration and disappointment that comes with it. The storyline follows the unpredictable journey of Olivia as she becomes entrenched in her student’s lives as a result of her love and concern for them, but also as a distraction of the anguish in her personal life.
Shades of Gray is based on realistic events that mimic the experiences Susanne Jacoby Hale had herself as a drop-out prevention teacher in a New York City high school. After completing her master’s degree at New York University in education and writing, she took the position as a way to get back in the classroom. But unknowingly, the experiences she had helping her students changed her life forever, and prompted her to eventually write a novel based on that period in her life. In addition to being a gripping read, Shades of Gray was written to inspire teachers in a culture where excellent teachers are often unappreciated.
Susanne Jacoby Hale’s novel is currently available in hardcover and paperback editions through both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For more information about Shades of Gray or the author, please visit http://susannejacobyhale.com/