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What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller
(This book is titled Notes on a Scandal in the UK)
What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal tells the story of Barbara Covett, a lonely schoolteacher in her 60s. When Sheba Hart joins her school in north London, Barbara reaches out in friendship. After Sheba has an affair with an underage student that ends in scandal, Barbara latches on as her defender. She takes to writing her account of the affair to set the facts straight. Barbara's motives, however, are also suspect. Her own envy, lack of intimate relationships, and possible neuroses call into question whether she's a friend or someone taking advantage of the situation for their own nefarious reasons. What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal turns from salacious to darkly comic and sinister. Receiving high praise from most reviewers, the Cleveland Plain Dealer says it "is not only very funny and original, it demonstrates shrewdness, intelligence and nerve in tackling a difficult and tricky subject, and carrying it off." Notes on a Scandal was a short list nominee for the 2003 Man Booker Prize.