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The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

In The Abstinence Teacher, Ruth Ramsey is a divorced single mother teaching human sexuality in a Northeastern high school. When she makes a favorable comment about sexual pleasure in class, a girl in the class who belongs to the ultra-conservative Christian church in town is offended and her family complains to school officials. The school apologizes for any offensive comments Ruth might have made and changes the curriculum of her class. When Ruth's daughter's soccer coach, Tim Mason, a former drug user and alcoholic who also belongs to the church, instructs the girls to pray after a victory, Ruth is furious. At the same time, she finds herself attracted to the coach. The attraction is mutual and shakes up both of their worlds. Tom Perrotta's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Chicago Sun-Times saying, "Eloquently written, Perrotta hits a chord by giving readers a riveting look at the angst and sexual tension that can polarize people as they struggle to weigh their personal wants with societal standards and expectations. Perrotta weaves a masterful satire that is sure to make readers stop and think."
Buy The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
USA Today review
by Jocelyn McClurg

Washington Post review
by Ron Charles

Boston Globe review
by Nathaniel Bellows

San Francisco Chronicle review
by Alan Cheuse

BookPage review
by Rebecca K. Stropoli

New York Times review
by Liesl Schillinger

Seattle Times review
by Moira Macdonald

Christian Science Monitor review
by Yvonne Zipp

The Guardian review
by Patrick Ness

Tom Perrotta
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