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12-01-22

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„Scandalous Diary" (eng. Notes on a Scandal) is a fiction novel by Zoe Heller, written on March 1, 1998 and published in 2003. In the USA it was published under the title: "What was she ? Scandal Notes „ (English „What Was She Thinking: Notes On A Scandal"). The novel tells the story of a teacher at a public school in London who falls in love with her minor student.The novel was shortlisted for literary prizes: among six books of the Booker Prize in the nomination „Fiction" (see the shortlist of the Booker Prize, 2003) and the British Book Award for Science Fiction (2003). The novel was originally translated into 23 ​​of the world and consists of 18 with a preface.In 2006, a movie version of the novel of the same name was released. Actresses Judy Dench and Cate Blanchett starred. The film was nominated for 4 Academy Awards in 2007.PlotThe plot of the novel dates back to 1996-1998. The story is in the first person – Barbara Covett, a sixty-year-old woman, an accomplished educator who has worked as a history teacher at St. George’s High School in London for 21 years. She is single and single, lives with her cat named Portia, which brings her out of depression. Barbara seeks to find a close friend, but, unfortunately, she could not keep her previous friends, as she is domineering and demanding. Fortunately for Barbara, a new teacher, Bathsheba („Sheba") Hart, comes to work at the school as a teacher of drawing and ceramics. She looks 40-42 years old, although in fact she is about 35 years old. Barbara immediately senses that they will be able to make friends. Sheba invites Barbara to Sunday lunch. Barbara attaches great importance to this dinner and prepares for it in a special way: she goes shopping, does her hair in a hairdressing salon. At lunch, she meets Sheba’s family. Sheba is married to Richard, who is many years her senior, and their relationship is similar to that of a father and daughter. Richard is a successful scientist, lectures on communications and protects his spouse from the difficult realities of life. They have two children: son Ben 11 years old with Down syndrome and daughter Polly 17 years old.Secretly from everyone, Sheba falls in love with his 15-year-old student, Stephen Connolly, who has problems with his studies, but is talented in drawing. He comes to Sheba and shows his drawings. She appreciates his artistic ability; but they are outside the bounds of what is permitted. Soon they are already making love in all available places: on the wasteland in Hampstead Heath Park, at school, etc. At the same time, Sheba tells Barbara that Connolly only wanted to kiss her, and does not disclose the details. Barbara gives her some tips on how to cool the boy’s ardor, and considers the matter to be settled.To her chagrin, Barbara learns of their actual relationship during the Bonfire Night, when she suddenly finds Shebu and Connolly together in Primrose Hill Park in a revealing pose. Barbara realizes that Sheba has not told her everything, as she has little trust so far. She is outraged by Sheba’s strong attraction to Connolly. At the request of Barbara, Sheba confesses her secret, and the relationship between them improves. However, the relationship between Sheba and Connolly deteriorates and the student begins to lose interest in Sheba. Sheba is rudely insulted by Connolly when she visits his parents in the Consil House community. But Sheba still does not end the relationship with him.A few weeks after the discovery of Sheba’s secret, Brian Bangs, a math teacher, turns to Barbara. He invites her to dine together on Saturday. Brian reveals to her that he is in love with Shebu, but does not know what she thinks of him. So he asks Barbara to find out. Overcome with jealousy, Barbara hints to Brian that Sheba only loves young men, including one of her students. After that, Barbara feels guilty about letting out Brian. She can’t muster the courage to confess this Sheba, and hopes Brian won’t tell anyone about it.Meanwhile, Sheba’s relationship with her daughter, Polly, begins to deteriorate. They get even worse when she is expelled from the boarding school. Sheba tries to forget her troubles by spending time with Connolly. However, he is already indifferent to her. She appears at his house and discovers that Connolly is with a young girl. But this does not stop Shebu, she constantly yearns for him. At the same time, Barbara’s beloved cat becomes terminally ill and is put to sleep, causing Barbara to become depressed again.Finally, the headmaster is informed of Sheba’s relationship with Connolly, and Sheba is accused of lecherous behavior towards the student. This is reported to her family. Sheba’s husband demands that she leave the house and prevents her from seeing the children, especially Ben’s son. Polly also refuses any contact with her mother. The story gets into the media in a bloated form. For example, in the newspaper The Daily Mirror they write about Sheba that she is: „the full-breasted effect of a bomb exploding." It’s actually flat, though. describe the situation as „nasty". Barbara considers the situation „unhealthy", „paradoxical", but natural for the Sheba family. At the trial, Sheba denies his guilt and says that she did nothing indecent and did not attack the boy.Barbara retires prematurely and helps Sheba. Together they go to live in the house of Sheba’s brother. There Sheba discovers Barbara’s diary, which details her secret. She becomes enraged at the way Barbara talks about people, being in close relationship with them. The novel ends with their friendship growing stronger. Sheba resigns herself to the fact that the domineering Barbara has become a part of her life. Barbara cuts Sheba’s relationship with her student from her diary.Comments (1)↑
How is the Queen of Sheba? – I asked.– Not. Diminutive of Bathsheba. – That’s it. And which character did your parents have in mind – biblical or from Hardy?

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