We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal | [Zoe Heller]

What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal

Schoolteacher Barbara Covett has led a bitter, lonely life as a self-made careerist. Sheba Hart is an ethereal, inexperienced new pottery teacher. When Barbara hears of Sheba's problems in the classroom, a maternal pity arises in her that soon leads to friendship and confidence. But Barbara is unprepared for the secret she will learn: that Sheba has begun a passionate affair with an underage male student. Barbara's confusion, disapproval, and jealousy are helpless to prevent the coming disaster.
Regular Price:$17.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Schoolteacher Barbara Covett has led a bitter, lonely life as a self-made careerist. Sheba Hart is an ethereal, inexperienced new pottery teacher. When Barbara hears of Sheba's problems in the classroom, a maternal pity arises in her that soon leads to friendship and confidence. But Barbara is unprepared for the secret she will learn: that Sheba has begun a passionate affair with an underage male student. Barbara's confusion, disapproval, and jealousy are helpless to prevent the coming disaster.

When the story comes to light and Sheba falls prey to the inevitable media circus, Barbara decides to write an account in her friend's defense; an account that reveals not only Sheba's secrets, but her own. What results is a complex psychological portrait framed as a wicked satire - a story of passion and repression, mercy and betrayal.

©2003 ZoĆ« Heller; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Gripping from start to finish; Heller brings vivid, nuanced characterizations to the racy story." (Publishers Weekly)
"Both a penetrating character study and a sharp examination of voyeurism, Heller's novel is utterly brilliant." (Booklist)
"Equally adroit at satire and at psychological suspense, Heller charts the course of a predatory friendship and demonstrates the lengths to which some people go for human company." (New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (220 )
5 star
 (63)
4 star
 (66)
3 star
 (57)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
3.9 (65 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.0 (64 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lori S. Chadbourne 02-19-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Pearl's wisdom"

    "What was she thinking?: Notes on a Scandal" was excellent. I also saw the movie, and I think the narrator of the book did a wonderful job...I could practically see Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett as I was listening in my car. I would definitely recommend this audio to others.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Montreal, Saskatchewan, Canada 02-17-07
    Joan Montreal, Saskatchewan, Canada 02-17-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Absolutely stunning"

    This was my first experience of an audiobook narrated by Nadia May. I was so impressed by her ability to do so many different voices that I immediately looked for another by her.

    I haven't yet seen the Oscar-nominated movie, but seriously question whether the movie version can possibly match this narrated version. Nadia May has an amazing ability to bring to life a wide variety of characters, her male voices are as good as the female, and her phrasing and accents are perfect.

    The novel itself is one of the best I have had the pleasure of experiencing for a long time, and Zoe Heller, I predict, is going to be one of the most-read novelists of our times. If you had only one novel to read/hear this year, let this be the one.

    Very highly recommended indeed.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 08-11-07
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 08-11-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    312
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    "Spellbinding!"

    I decided to listen to this audiobook after having seen the superb movie version earlier this year. As fascinating as I found the movie, the original book is so filled with layers of subtlety, emotion, ambiguity, and irony that it was hard to put it down. Who is the main protagonist in this story? Is it the naive, inexperienced school teacher Sheba, who lets herself be seduced by an underaged student? Or is it the late middle-aged colleague, Barbara, who seeks to escape her bitter loneliness in befriending Sheba, documenting Sheba's affair in a diary, and ultimately being the possible cause of her downfall? The story is told from the point of view of Barbara: sensible, cautious, frank, but also somewhat self-deluding. Nadia May's narration, as always, is alive and nuanced.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catina Milwaukee, WI, USA 04-21-07
    Catina Milwaukee, WI, USA 04-21-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful Narration"

    I agree with the other member about Nadia Mays narration. I listened to Notes on a Scandal(did not see the movie) while traveling and at work. I was impressed with how clear Nadia spoke even with an accent. I was equally impressed with her ability to represent each character with a different voice.

    I had many "laugh out loud" moments with the text which was enhanced by her characterization. Listening to this audible is encouraging me to get the movie. Hopefully, I will not be disappointed.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Philadelphia, PA, USA 05-10-07
    Patricia Philadelphia, PA, USA 05-10-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Complex characters and brilliant satire"

    I have rarely enjoyed an audiobook as much as I enjoyed this. The story itself and the characters are both very realistic and bitingly satirical. The time spent listening to this book literally flew by and I know I will be listetning to it over and over in the weeks to come.

    In addition to being a good story with very good characters, this audiobook also sets the standard for narration. The narrator here is nothing short of brilliant. I cannot imagine that the film version of this book brings these characters to life any more than this narrator did with her wonderful performance here. My only fear is that she has spoiled me for other audiobooks.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 05-21-07
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 05-21-07 Member Since 2005

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    371
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    588
    167
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    49
    3
    Overall
    "Great narrator"

    Great story and great narrator I thought the ending was a little weak. It seemed it just sort of stopped. Although I could probably guess what happend next (trial sentencing disgrace, divorce) I sort of wanted more.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Toronto, ON, Canada 07-02-09
    Jamie Toronto, ON, Canada 07-02-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    87
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "tart and delicious"

    Having seen the movie did not detract from the pure delight I felt in listening to this excellent novel, with its scandal conveyed to us in all its tawdry detail by Barbara, one of the finest examples of an unreliable narrator ever created. Nadia May's narration is exquisite -- she renders Barbara's high-handedness and cunning self-delusion with precision and even a pang of sympathy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Highland Village, TX, USA 06-04-09
    Kathleen Highland Village, TX, USA 06-04-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Liked but annoyed"

    I agree with most of the reviewers the book was well written and narrated. But I found myself genuinely NOT liking the characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Vancouver, BC, Canada 04-26-09
    Karen Vancouver, BC, Canada 04-26-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    190
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "Got tired of it"

    The narrator who READS this book is just fine--really good, in fact, but the I just got to the point where I couldn't really stand any more of the 1st person narrator/PROTAGONIST of this book. I can like a rogue, but this woman is dreadful in a too-little-redeemed kind of way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 03-01-08
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 03-01-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    197
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    150
    67
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    14
    0
    Overall
    "Notes is excellent!"

    This book is an excellent and interesting read. I was hooked from the start. The narrator was perfect and the story was very well written. I enjoyed it tremendously!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.