Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, though with some flaws, 25 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Notes on a Scandal (Paperback)
A well written story, focussing on the theme of obsession. The narrator, Barbara, is a lonely, unmarried school teacher, who becomes fixated on a younger teacher at her school, Sheba. Sheba is wealthy and married with children, but embarks upon an affair with one of her 15 year old pupils. Barbara narrates the story of the affair, her friendship with Sheba, and the consequences.

The story is well written, with a good turn of phrase, and nice descriptions. It was easy to read and reasonably gripping. The characters were interesting and flawed, although perhaps not entirely convincing, particularly Sheba, who seems unbelievably stupid. Barbara is a better character. The exploration of obsession was well executed and gave no easy answers. The undertone of subtle malice throughout was nicely done and the book did leave me feeling slightly unsettled.

Plot wise, it was a little disappointing and not entirely without holes. I had hoped for a more gripping conclusion. It was just too hard to sympathise with Sheba, which made the denouement less exciting for me. The earlier parts of the story hung together better than the later parts, where I got the feeling that things hadn't been so well thought through.

On the whole, this was an interesting book and well written enough to be worth reading, despite some flaws.
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