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The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
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The Abstinence Teacher (edition 2007)

by Tom Perrotta

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1,8501093,743 (3.41)64
Member:RavenousReaders
Title:The Abstinence Teacher
Authors:Tom Perrotta
Info:St. Martin's Press (2007), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Pima County Public Library, pcpl, staff pick, suburbia, sex, sex education, religion,

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The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

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Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
Not at all what I expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Perrotta managed to praise Christianity and show its flaws at the same time. Looking forward to reading more of his stuff! ( )
  GoldenHoldenCervone | Aug 4, 2016 |
3.5 stars, if I may be that specific. I liked this book. That doesn't come as a surprise to me because I like all of Perrotta's books. But, maybe those other books are why I didn't LOVE this one. Compared to the others, this one is just OK. I would tell people to read it, but only after they read Little Children and The Leftovers.

Perrotta is one of my favorite contemporary writers. He writes with such wonderful humor and ease. His books are always "good reads." The characters are well-drawn and the plots are engaging. This book focuses very heavily on religion. Out of all his books, this seemed to be trying hardest to make a point. As a reader, I didn't love the transparency of that intention, but I still enjoyed the story. ( )
  KimHooperWrites | Jun 22, 2015 |
This is a great audio book. Ending comes up too soon though! ( )
  spincerely | Mar 10, 2015 |
Sex and religion and trying to live your in as honest a way as you can. Perrotta gives us a readable and thought-provoking tale that's well worth the time.

Bookcrossing: http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6744050/
  wareagle78 | Jan 22, 2014 |
After reading The Leftovers, I wanted to read this one by Perrotta as well. The struggle surrounding religion is so interesting to me, I feel like I could never get sick of reading these types of books. I was disappointed with this one though. At times it felt like you could tell a male was writing Ruth's character. And I thought the whole naming thing was a bit overkill - Ruth from the book of Ruth. Somehow now that we've seen this done so many times before I find it weird that authors do it now. Also, it felt like the book was swaying in a certain way, labeling Ruth as the woman in need of redemption and a man to marry despite the fact that she's the one who doesn't believe in a being that created women as an afterthought.
I remember this book having a lot of hype surrounding it when it was first published, but I don't think it lives up to that. Ultimately, I think the Perrotta's argument felt limited or like it was trying to break out beyond somewhere he wouldn't let it go. It felt forced and inorganic, bumping characters about in this little cube. The Leftovers seemed to do a much better job of moving beyond a wall. Not they are about the same subject, but that he used religion as a jumping off point. I think that worked better for him. shrug. Honestly, this one just took me a long time to read because I kept getting bored. If you're going to read Perrotta, I would suggest the Leftovers, not The Abstinence Teacher. ( )
  Caitdub | Oct 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
What a movie it will be: Divorced suburban mother of two fights the Tabernacle crazies who have taken over her school.

The problem is that while Perrotta's novels may make for good movies, they don't make for very good books.
added by Shortride | editEsquire, Benjamin Alsup (Oct 5, 2007)
 
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Epigraph
And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin; it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.
--The Gospel of Mark
Dedication
For Joe Gordon
First words
On the first day of Human Sexuality, Ruth Ramsey wore a short lime green skirt, a clingy black top, and strappy high-heeled sandals, the kind of attention-getting outfit she normally wouldn't have worn on a date--not that she was going on a lot of dates these days--let alone to work.
Quotations
In terms of the misery they'd spared humanity over the years--the unwanted pregnancies, the horrible diseases, the disrupted young lives--she would have happily placed the humble rubber right up there beside antibiotics and childhood vaccines in the pantheon of Public Health marvels of the Modern World.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312358334, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:52 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Teaching human sexuality from a perspective that information and pleasure are top priorities, divorced mom Ruth Ramsey butts heads with the local soccer coach, a divorced former addict who became an evangelical Christian after hitting rock bottom.

(summary from another edition)

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