I have been trying to read more lately. I have never been much of a 'reader'. In the past I would read all the time for school and work so when I came home I much preferred to read a magazine, the newspaper or watch (somewhat trashy) TV. But now that I am completely finished with school - Masters degree and B.A. in hand, benefits practitioner course complete, I figured I should read more. So I have been trying more and more to hide the remote and crack a book.
I have been working my way through a couple of Tom Perrotta novels. I recently finished The Abstinence Teacher and I am now reading The Leftovers both take place and are about life in middle class Northeastern suburbs but they have very different plot lines. In fact I recently learned that HBO is looking at making The Leftovers in a series! The Abstinence Teacher caught my attention right away and is on a very timely subject. The Leftovers has been a little slower to start but asks the question of what would happen to a community/society if all of the sudden one day hundreds of thousands of people were to simply disappear in what arrears to be a secular rapture (the Sudden Departure).
So, The Abstinence Teacher is the story of a woman (Ruth) who has taught sex education in a public high school for years; she is divorced and has two kids. Over the past couple of years an evangelical church has made their way into the community and has begun to exert significant influence; suddenly all sex education has become abstinence based (hence the title) and uses scare tactics as well as incorrect facts to deliver the abstinence message. (Sound at all similar to what is happening in many school systems around the country?) At the same time another character Tim is a former hard core sex, drugs and rock n' roll rocker who has been born again through the evangelical church. Tim also happens to be the soccer coach to one of Ruth's children and much of the conflict comes to light when Tim is caught leading the secular soccer team in prayer after a game.
Want to find out what happens next? You should give it a read!