Top critical review
Notes on a scandal
on 19 November 2016
An intriguing, undemanding read which I enjoyed. Narrated by teacher Barbara, a spinster approaching retirement, it tells the story of her colleague and friend Sheba. A married art teacher from a well-to-do background, the lovely Sheba seems to have the kind of charmed life the lonely Barbara can only dream of. But when she ill-advisedly begins an affair with a 15 year old boy from their school, things look set to change...
There are moments of hilarity as Barbara relays Sheba's confidences to her; the way the 40 year old woman imbues her young lover's limited conversational abilities with romantic mystique. And as she describes daily life in a rough comprehensive one laughs out loud at times.
But there is also sadness in the desperate loneliness of our narrator, and an ever-present threatening feeling, as she recalls previous 'difficulties' with friends who no longer feature in her life, shows jealousy over Sheba's other friends, and , most mystifying, is keeping a detailed set of notes on the whole incident, complete with timeline...
Good entertainment, though I felt it fizzled out just a tad.