What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal

By Zoë Heller
Read by Nadia May

7.45 Hours 01/01/2006 unabridged
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Schoolteacher Barbara Covett has led a bitter, lonely life as a self-made careerist. Sheba Hart is the ethereal, inexperienced new pottery teacher at St. George’s school. When Barbara hears of Sheba’s problems in the classroom, her sympathy soon leads to friendship and confidence. But Barbara is unprepared for the secret she will learn: that Sheba has begun a passionate affair with an underage male student. Barbara’s confusion, disapproval, and jealousy are helpless to prevent the coming disaster. When the story comes to light and Sheba falls prey to the inevitable media circus, Barbara decides to write an account in her friend’s defense, an account that reveals not only Sheba’s secrets but her own. What results is a complex psychological portrait framed as a wicked satire, a story of passion and repression, mercy and betrayal.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Schoolteacher Barbara Covett has led a bitter, lonely life as a self-made careerist. Sheba Hart is the ethereal, inexperienced new pottery teacher at St. George’s school. When Barbara hears of Sheba’s problems in the classroom, her sympathy soon leads to friendship and confidence. But Barbara is unprepared for the secret she will learn: that Sheba has begun a passionate affair with an underage male student. Barbara’s confusion, disapproval, and jealousy are helpless to prevent the coming disaster.

When the story comes to light and Sheba falls prey to the inevitable media circus, Barbara decides to write an account in her friend’s defense, an account that reveals not only Sheba’s secrets but her own. What results is a complex psychological portrait framed as a wicked satire, a story of passion and repression, mercy and betrayal.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Equally adroit at satire and at psychological suspense, Heller charts the course of a predatory friendship and demonstrates the lengths to which some people go for human company.” New Yorker
“Deliciously perverse, laugh-out-loud funny [with] caustic wit and needle-sharp observations. The reader looks on, amused and aghast, as both unlikely seductress and her self-deluding protector become locked in a helpless embrace of need and betrayal.” Vogue
“Heller elevates a tabloid-worthy tale of obsession into an intense, witty, literary page-turner.” Entertainment Weekly
“Gripping from start to finish; Heller brings vivid, nuanced characterizations to the racy story.” Publishers Weekly
“Nadia May IS Barbara—self-deluding, jealous, controlling, snide though always civil…Dame Judi Dench plays Barbara in the movie (Notes on a Scandal); it’s difficult to imagine she does it any better than this audio portrayal.” AudioFile
“Both a penetrating character study and a sharp examination of voyeurism, Heller’s novel is utterly brilliant.” Booklist 

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Zoë Heller

Zoë Heller is a feature writer, critic, and columnist. She currently writes a weekly column for the London Telegraph, for which she won the 2002 British Press Award for Columnist of the Year. Born in London, she now lives in New York City.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 7.45
Audience: Adult
Language: English