Elysabeth's Reviews > The Abstinence Teacher

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
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's review
Jan 16, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: book-club
Read in January, 2008

What I loved about The Abstinence Teacher:

I absolutely love shifting points of view, most especially when the writer does it so deftly that we gain important details about characters through others' observations. This is especially present in Tim's observations of Ruth and vice versa.

I also loved the way that Perrotta weaves very current, very real pop culture details into how the characters operate and go about their lives. (i.e., Ruth looks up her first lover on www.classmates.com, to see if anyone has a clue to his whereabouts)

What I did not love about The Abstinence Teacher:

I really thought that the book itself could have been at least 100 pages longer, especially when dealing with the issues of Ruth's struggle to teach sex education. I actually was under the impression that that would have been a more prevalent part of the book, but really it wasn't as much of a focus, compared to Tim's Christianity.

And while we're on it, I feel like I was missing very key details about Tim's former marriage and Ruth's former marriage. Where were the sordid details of the coke binge? Was Ruth's husband unfaithful? Tell me more, tell me more!!
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