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Download What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal, by Zoë Heller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 5 3.78 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Zoë Heller Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Schoolteacher Barbara Covett has led a bitter, lonely life as a self-made careerist. Sheba Hart is the ethereal, inexperienced new pottery teacher at St. George’s school. When Barbara hears of Sheba’s problems in the classroom, her sympathy 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “Deliciously perverse, laugh-out-loud funny [with] caustic wit and needle-sharp observations. The reader looks on, amused and aghast, as both unlikely seductress and her self-deluding protector become locked in a helpless embrace of need and betrayal.”


  • “Heller elevates a tabloid-worthy tale of obsession into an intense, witty, literary page-turner.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Gripping from start to finish; Heller brings vivid, nuanced characterizations to the racy story.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Nadia May IS Barbara—self-deluding, jealous, controlling, snide though always civil…Dame Judi Dench plays Barbara in the movie (Notes on a Scandal); it’s difficult to imagine she does it any better than this audio portrayal.”


  • “Both a penetrating character study and a sharp examination of voyeurism, Heller’s novel is utterly brilliant.”


  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Deirdre | 1/22/2014

    " A beautifully written novel of obsession, jealousy and an inappropriate sexual relationship. The story is written in the third person by a woman whom we perecive to be supportive and sympathetic to the main character. Over time we gain more insight into the narrater's motivation and uncover layers of betrayal and further obsession which are triggered by envy and lonliness. A beautifully written novel which will have you hooked from the first chapter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Deb | 1/12/2014

    " Not sure what to say about this one. The writing was fantastic, the characters were so developed (although I feel the spinster lady having a cat is too stereotypical) and I was pulled in to the story, but felt very unsatisfied with the end. This book almost makes you question who the true victim is here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Maija | 1/6/2014

    " Definitely depressing--not really an enjoyable scandal to read about...there's a movie version, though, which is supposed to be excellent. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Belle | 12/27/2013

    " I couldn't get through this book. Too creeped out by the narrator. "

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About the Author

Zoë Heller is a feature writer, critic, and columnist. She currently writes a weekly column for the London Telegraph, for which she won the 2002 British Press Award for Columnist of the Year. Born in London, she now lives in New York City.