Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller

What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal]What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal] by Zoë Heller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the kind of book whose cover says outrageous things like “gripping” and “addictive” and is all the more so simply because for once, those damn reviewers aren’t lying.

Middle aged Sheba is a new teacher who becomes romantically involved with a 15 year old boy in her class, to the horror and destruction of her husband and family. Barbara, from whose perspective the novel is narrated, is the older woman, confidante and friend who stands by Sheba throughout the affair and trial that follows.

That’s about all anyone can really say without giving away spoilers. Except perhaps “beware when the stalker becomes the stalked”, and “don’t believe all you hear” and “wow, I’m gonna watch Single White Female again.”

I’ve since learned that this book was made into a film with Cate Blanchett cast as Sheba and Judi Dench as Barbara – Yes and Yes! Perfection.

Zoe Heller is one of those authors that make you feel immediately confident in her skill – you don’t always know where she’s going, but no word is superfluous, no paragraph or observation out of place. You can feel it all moving towards a crescendo which, when it’s done, you will want to stand up and applaud.

View all my reviews

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