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The Abstinence Teacher
by Tom Perrotta

Published: 2007-10-16
Hardcover : 368 pages
32 members reading this now
7 clubs reading this now
7 members have read this book
Stonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise kids.  It?s got the proverbial good schools, solid values and a healthy real estate market.  It?s the kind of place where parents are involved in their children?s lives, where no opportunity for enrichment goes unexplored.
 
Ruth Ramsey is ...
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Introduction

Stonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise kids.  It?s got the proverbial good schools, solid values and a healthy real estate market.  It?s the kind of place where parents are involved in their children?s lives, where no opportunity for enrichment goes unexplored.
 
Ruth Ramsey is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school. She believes that ?pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is power.?  Ruth?s younger daughter?s soccer coach is Tim Mason, a former stoner and rocker whose response to hitting rock bottom was to reach out and be saved.  Tim belongs to The Tabernacle, an evangelical Christian church that doesn?t approve of Ruth?s style of teaching.  And Ruth in turn doesn?t applaud The Tabernacle?s mission to take its message outside its doors.  Adversaries in a small-town culture war, Ruth and Tim instinctively mistrust each other. But when a controversy on the soccer field pushes the two of them to actually talk to each other, they are forced to take each other at something other than face value.
 
The Abstinence Teacher exposes the powerful emotions that run beneath the surface of modern American family life and explores the complex spiritual and sexual lives of ordinary people.  Elegantly written, it is characterized by the distinctive mix of satire and compassion that have animated Perrotta?s previous novels.

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "big disappointment"by Netzel (see profile) 02/18/09

Starts fun and light read, but rapidly goes nowhere! Horrible ending-thought would be a great pick, but was instead a great disappointment-sorry so brutal, but entire group felt this way

 
  "Sex ed teacher meets fundamentalist Christian"by kfoulks (see profile) 02/16/09

Tom Perrotta is a good author, no doubt about that. This book tackles some big issues (sex ed in public schools, gay marriage and fundamentalist Christianity) and did a pretty good job. It... (read more)

 
  "3.25/5 avg 6 members"by mindyhayes (see profile) 01/28/09

 
  "This book is about a health teacher who teaches the sensitive subjects of birth control, etc. She is told that she must now teach only abstinence and is unwilling to do so."by louisedroz (see profile) 08/22/08

I did not like this book at all. The format was dull and I just could not finish it.

 
  "Typical Tom Perrotta"by daisyjaime (see profile) 03/27/08

Tom Perrotta is kind of a slow writer, they are very interesting books but can be slow moving and can a lot of times leave unanswered questions. I really like his style but know that there are others... (read more)

 
  "Great book - lots of food for thought."by jmb0923 (see profile) 03/07/08

 
  "Extremely disappointing"by Wendy56 (see profile) 11/20/07

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