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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Abstinence Teacher » User review

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

  • Jun 21, 2009
Rating:
+3
Ruth, divorced 41-year-old mother of 2 girls and high school sex education teacher, finds herself in trouble with school administrators when an off-hand comment in class puts her in the crosshairs of a local evangelical church group. Tim is a recovering stoner who has found salvation in that very same church group and also happens to be the coach of the soccer team for which Ruth's daughter plays. Although she is initially attracted to him, Tim draws Ruth's ire when he leads the team in a spontaneous post-game prayer. Back at school, Ruth is coerced by an administration fearful of a lawsuit to teach a sanitized and less than accurate sex education curriculum. The novel has the potential to probe controversial territory about the exclusion of religious views from public education and recreation – thoughtful agnosticism colliding with blindly assertive fundamentalism. Unfortunately, the story unfolds at a relatively superficial level that I found minimally satisfying. The attraction between Ruth and Tim builds slowly throughout, but in the end little comes of it.

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Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
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Steve DiBartola ()
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I was invited to join Lunch by one of the developers, who apparently read some reviews I posted on Library Thing. My interests are books, music, and movies. I enjoy both classical and contemporary fiction, … more
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ISBN-10: 0312358334 (hbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780312358334 (hbk.)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date Published: October 16, 2007

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