Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

I read Little Children by Tom Perrotta earlier this year and enjoyed it and was not even aware that Mr. Perrotta had a new book coming out. While surfing some blogs, I came across a review for this book and decided to put it on hold at my library. After giving up on the previous book I was reading, I decided to give this one a try. I almost didn't but am so glad I decided to start reading it. I really enjoyed it and it held my attention. I rate it an A-.

Ruth Ramsey, divorced, is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school; she believes in being honest with her students, telling them that some people "enjoy oral sex." She lands in hot water when an evangelical church, offended by her curriculum, forces the school board to include a section on abstinence. Tim Mason is the beloved soccer coach of Ruth's young daughter, Maggie. He is also a reformed stoner/loser and an entrenched member of the church that attacked Ruth. Things get interesting when Tim, in a moment of crisis, leads his team of girls in prayer, and Ruth publicly drags her daughter from the soccer field. Ironically, Ruth and Tim find they have more in common than they thought, and a shaky—at times humorous—interchange begins.

I am not sure what exactly made me love this book so much, but I found myself counting down the minutes until my lunch break so I could read it. This book really got me thinking about how and where I stand on all of the issues addressed in the book and I really felt for both characters. This book is not my normal reading fare, I flew through it (well flew through it with my schedule) and I couldn't get enough. The book was written with both sides of the issues clearly stated and I could agree with both of them. I just really liked this book and I would reccommend it to anyone who likes realistic fiction and keeps up on current events. I am thinking about checking out more of Mr. Perrotta's books to see if they also hold up. I do know that his book Election is what the movie with Resse Witherspoon starred in was based on, so maybe I will check that out.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I have parent teacher conferences tomorrow and Friday so I probably will not get that much reading done. Still, I want to start something. Hope everyone else is reading a lot of good books! Happy Reading!


Terri said...

I've never heard of that author! I'll have to look him up though. I love Jodi Picoult because she writes both sides of an issue very well about current or controversial as well. It sounds like Perrotta is a lot like her that way.

Kristie said...

This is the second book of his I have read and I really enjoyed it. I have been so busy lately, but I made and found the time to read it. I too like Jodi Picoult's books and I could say they are comparable.