Catherine's Reviews > Notes on a Scandal: What Was She Thinking?

Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller
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's review
Mar 27, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009
Read in March, 2009

"Notes on a Scandal" tells the story of two slightly with completely skewed and slightly perverse world views. One obsessively justifies her love affair with a fifteen year old, and the other chronicles her betrayal of her best friend without realizing its implications. It was very dark, but not totally disturbing. While I certainly cannot empathize with starting an affair with a highschooler, I enjoyed reading about Sheba's twisted mindset, and seeing her from her own point of view. Meanwhile, I actually developed more animosity for the narrator, Barbara, because of her parasitic friendship. At one point she says;

"There are certain people in whom you can detect the seeds of madness--seeds that have remained dormant only because the people in question have lived relatively comfortable, middle-class lives. They function perfectly well in the world, but you can imagine, given a nasty parent, or a prolonged bout of unemployment, how their potential for craziness might have been realised--how their seeds might have sprouted little green shoots of weirdness, or even, with the right sort of antinurture, blossomed into full-blown lunacy."

I love that, because she has no idea she is perfectly defining herself. This book is fantastic; I very much enjoyed it. It is an interesting story well told, in which you're hearing from one voice, but seeing the story in a totally different light. I enjoyed the ending, which differed slightly from the movie. It really left me wondering.

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03/27/2009 page 88
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