The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

The Abstinence Teacher

By Tom Perrotta

  • Release Date: 2007-10-16
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 3.5
From 48 Ratings
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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.



    By PageMe179
    This was a pointless waste of time. I'm sure Perotta is capable of much more substance, better pacing, events relevant to the story, etc. don't waste your money on this book.
  • Lovely prose/no plot

    By mickchristine
    Perhaps the most beautifully written story I've read in a long while- rich detail, depth - but nothing happens! I don't know of any other novel that lacked a plot line!