Shortlisted for the Mann Booker Prize
A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year
Schoolteacher Barbara Covett has led a solitary existence; aside from her cat, Portia, she has few friends, and no intimates. When Sheba Hart joins St. George's as the new art teacher Barbara senses the possibility of a friendship. It begins with lunches and continues with regular invitations to meals with Sheba's seemingly close-knit family. But as their relationship develops, another does as well: Sheba has begun a passionate affair with an underage male student. And when it 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 an unwitting Sheba's secrets, but her own.
What Was She Thinking? is a story of repression and passion, envy and complacence, friendship and loneliness. A complex psychological portrait framed as a wicked satire, it is by turns funny, poignant, and sinister. With it, Zoë Heller surpasses the promise of her critically acclaimed first novel, Everything You Know.