Book – Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller

I’ve never seen the Judi Dench film. In fact, I had forgotten all about it until my room mate reminded me of it upon showing her this book.

I then spent most of the time reading it wondering who the Judi Dench character was. The author I suppose.

I picked the book up from the Birmingham library when it was wrongly placed in the C’s whilst looking for my writing tutor’s recommendation, Truman Capote. Zoe Heller use to write a column from New York for the Sunday Times in the 1990s and it got the idea firmly lodged in my head way back then although I always knew I wanted to end up in New York somehow. That’s what I want to do when I semi retire in my mid 40s; not necessarily write a column for the Sunday Times although that would pretty much put the diamond in the tiara and make me the Luckiest Girl in the World. Again.

So it’s her fault then.

The book is great  although not really reminiscent of the Zoe Heller column I recall. For a start I kept coming across words I have never heard off and therefore could only guess the meaning in context.

I thought the book would be more about the scandal that ensued after the middle first time teacher was found to be having an affair with the teenage pupil. It was however, wholly about the older teacher befriending this middle aged dissenter and remarkably, Zoe Heller writing as a 60 year old single teacher. Quite something and worth the accolades afforded to her as I’m pretty sure she would have been 30 or 40 something at the time.

I’m going back to pick up another Zoe Heller book for sure. 8/10   Inspiration Factor 7½/10

July 18th 2009


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