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Notes on a Scandal

by Zoe Heller

Absolutely compelling. I did not want to put this book down. I knew what was going to happen but just had to reach the terribly sad conclusion. Sheba Hart, the pottery teacher at St George's School, begins an affair with a 15-year-old student and yet, against my better judgement, I began to feel sympathy for her predicament thanks to the narrator of her story, a lonely, sinister and controlling fellow teacher.

Extract

This is not a story about me. But, since the task of telling it has fallen into my hands, and since I play a minor role in the events I am going to describe, it is only right that I should offer a brief account of myself and my relationship to the protagonist. My name is Barbara Covett .... Until I retired this January, I had been living in Archwway, north London, and teaching History at St George's, a comprehensive school in the same neighbourhood, for the last twenty-one years. It was at St George's a little less than eighteen years ago, that I met Bathsheba Hart. Her name will probably be familiar to most of you by now. She is the forty-two-year-old pottery teacher recently charged with indecent assault on a minor, after being discovered having a sexual affair with one of her students - a boy who was fifteen years old when the affair began.

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