This has been a long week. I have to admit that it's been a while since I've posted (I feel so bloody guilty about it, sorry) but I will make up for it with other posts in store for you guys. Thus, today I will be writing a book review about a book that I finished reading about 6 weeks ago. I have to confess that this post was a bit hard for me to write, and you'll know why in a second. This book is called 'Notes On A Scandal' and it's written by Zoe Heller.
I came across this book in a fair and my dad pointed it out to me. He reminded me that it was made into a film starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench and that it was nominated for the Academy Awards. With that notice I remembered its brief synopsis, so I bought it.
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would. This is strange for me because I rarely don't like a book. To be honest I was eager to end the book (in a negative way).
Firstly, a reason for my indisposition towards this book, is that I came to find that it didn't contain a plot and a link of events. I don't know if it makes sense, but I found it to be slightly boring and I felt that the plot was kept at the same level, there was no climax.
Like what the title suggests it's about a scandal, involving Sheba a 40 year old wife, mother and art teacher who starts to befriend and get SUPER CLOSE with one of the students, Steven. She also befriends the lonely, unsociable History teacher Barbara, who's the only one who knows of this fling. Barbara's the one who supported her from the very start till the newspapers started to attack Sheba. Although, she didn't agree with this scandalous action. We readers knew about the affair from the very start. We've been fed with personal thoughts and information from Barbara's POV, which I didn't find quite exciting. I slightly liked the scene, in particular, when Barbara went out to a "date" with Bangs, which was a change of pace.
The theme of loneliness stands out impeccably in this book. It's found in both characters. Sheba acts out on her solitude by going out with a much younger boy who's at least 25 years her junior. Meanwhile, Barbara tries to stand by Sheba's expectations of a friend by supporting her, continuously listening to her problems and trying to help. Out of the two characters, Barbara's loneliness stands out. Barbara believes that Sheba is unconscious of her loneliness, but in reality, Sheba is just as lonely as her. That may be the reason, after all, of her thinking and feeling loved by Steven. There's also the theme of jealousy. Barbara wanted attention, but she didn't wish any pity. Another theme is betrayal, when Barbara spilled the beans about her affair to Bangs.
Sheba's situation is a bit understandable. Her behaviour is unnaturally realistic. We also find this reflection of an Anna Karenina storyline. You understand that Sheba married this older guy at a young age and probably forgot what "being loved " meant. Still, she doesn't feel as if she's mistaking the laws of nature while she's going out with Steven. Her affair was her weakness.
Overall, I would give it a 4 out of 10. I hope that the film is better, due to the fact that it gained Oscar nominations. Did any of you read this book? Did you like it, unlike me? What were your thoughts about it?
Thanks and love,
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