Book 3:Notes on a Scandal

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My third book of the year is Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller. This is definitely a book I will reread.

  • The book tells the story of a young teacher who has an affair with one of her high school students. What makes it unusual is that it is narrated by an older, unmarried teacher who has befriended the young teacher and learned all the details from her.  We are hearing everything secondhand and from a voyeur who colours the tale with her own paintbrush.
  • This is as much a story about the older teacher who is a lonely, perhaps pathetic, figure who spends her time trying to find  friends, but who often loses them through her clinging ways. She manipulates the young teacher and ultimately betrays her.
  • This book is a look inside the life and mind of a troubled, lonely, repressed woman as much as it is a story of  sexual abuse. As I have found in other recent novels, the main characters are not particularly likeable but they are human.
  • Dame Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett starred in the great movie version of the novel.
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