Maidstone Book Club: Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller

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This month’s book was Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller which we all enjoyed.  I liked it so much, I borrowed the DVD of the film from the library and not just because the book had only taken a few days to read and I therefore needed a recap as I couldn’t remember what happened. 

The book is narrated by Barbara: a lonely old spinster with an obsessive streak.  Her latest obsession is Sheba, the school’s new art teacher who starts an affair with a 15 year old boy.  Sheba confesses the affair to Barbara and Barbara has the perfect opportunity to manipulate Sheba until jealousy takes over and Barbara betrays Sheba.

The book is more about friendship and betrayal, rather than the affair.  None of us had any sympathy for Sheba as there was nothing wrong with her marriage and we decided she was just a naive, self-absorbed crap teacher.

One of our group is a teacher and since reading the book, had spent his time in the staff room looking at his colleagues, wondering who would be most likely to have an affair with a pupil and he decided that yes, it would probably be an art teacher.

Next month we’re reading (or trying to) The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie.  I’ve never read any of his books, so I’m not sure why I’m not keen to read it but I’ll give it a go in a case of “don’t knock what you haven’t tried”.  And as the next meeting will be the last before Christmas, it’s going to double up as our Christmas party in Pizza Express.

If you’d like to join the Maidstone Book Club, contact me.

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