The Abstinence Teacher: Book summary and reviews of The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

The Abstinence Teacher

By Tom Perrotta

The Abstinence Teacher
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2007,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The book is rife with Perrotta's subtle and satiric humor...but these questions get lost as the plot winds down." - Publishers Weekly (Signature review).

". Ruefully humorous and tenderly understanding of human folly: the most mature, accomplished work yet from this deservedly bestselling author. " - Kirkus Reviews.

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Author Information

Tom Perrotta Author Biography

Tom Perrotta is the author of five previous work of fiction: Bad Haircut, The Wishbones, Election, and the New York Times bestselling Joe College and Little Children. Election was made into the acclaimed 1999 movie directed by Alexander Payne and starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon. Little Children was released as a movie directed by Todd Field and starring Kate Winslet and Jennifer Connelly in 2006, and for which Perrotta received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for best screenplay. He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

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