Monday, November 13, 2006

Notes on a Scandal

My Books and Brunch classes read and discussed What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller a couple of weeks ago. The book has a wonderful protagonist/narrator in the person of Barbara Covett, a lonely, frustrated older woman, who worms her way into the life of Sheba, a young attractive art teacher.

The scandal referred to in the title is Sheba's sexual relationship with one of her male students. However, if the book was only about the scandal, I would have never picked it for my classes. What's marvelous about the book is the character of Barbara, who is an "unreliable narrator" and who , while trying to be Sheba's friend, is writing a book based on Sheba's problems. Sheba's not aware that Barbara is writing the book. Therein lies the tension for the reader.

The reader soon begins to suspect that Barbara is not the friend she's believed to be; that, even if subconsciously, she has other designs on Sheba.

Today I found out that a film has been made of Heller's book. It's entitled Notes on a Scandal and it's currently in previews. Check out the International Movie Database (IMDB).

The film stars Cate Blanchett and Judy Dench. Can't wait. the teach :)

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