Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller

About the book

From the first day that the beguiling Sheba Hart joins the staff of St George’s history teacher Barbara Covett is convinced she has found a kindred spirit. Barbara’s loyalty to her new friend is passionate and unstinting and when Sheba is discovered having an illicit affair with one of her pupils, Barbara quickly elects herself as Sheba’s chief defender. But all is not as it first seems in this dark story and, as Sheba will soon discover, a friend can be just as treacherous as any lover.

Reviewed by BBC Boater’s Book Club:

Everyone really enjoyed the book especially the characterisations for example the sinister Babara and the descriptions of the teachers and their environment. The moral issues were also discussed.

Star rating: *** to ****

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8 thoughts on “Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller”

  1. Review by CC Readers Group:
    Beautifully observed. Excellent characterising. Contemporary theme – people reacted to the characters differently. Astute analysis of loneliness. Humorous as well.
    Star rating: ****

  2. Review by Cowdray Reading Group:
    Most members enjoyed the book although they found the character – Sheba – not completely convincing. Some enjoyed the book more than the film, others now want to see the film! Enjoyed the undercurrents but were not surprised by the ending.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by Wednesday Reading Group:
    Well written, disappointing ending. Characters described well, but subject matter could be slightly offensive.
    Star rating: ***

  4. Review by Everton Reading Group:
    Well written, comprehensive read. Subject matter felt uncomfortable.
    Star rating: ***

  5. Review by Lymington U3A Reading Group:
    In our group one would not recommend the others found it readable and good for group discussion. Interesting subject for the group as we have several teachers.
    Star rating: **+

  6. Review by North Baddesley WI:
    As an ex-teacher I found the subject matter rather uncomfortable. However, such things do happen and one has to accept that.
    The book was very easy to read and the blurb on the back of the cover gave one a fairly apt description of the contents.
    Star rating: ***
    Reading Group:

  7. Barnfield Reading Group
    Deliciously sinister, very readable. Fascinating discussion at our bookclub.
    **** 4 stars

  8. Review by LI U3A Lockswood
    Good read. Well written psychologica thriller enjoyed by the majority of the group although a bit more background to Sheba and Barbara would have been interesting.
    Star rating: ***l

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