This book was on my wish list for over a year. It ended up being a disappointment. As another reviewer already mentioned, it ends kind of mid-action, with no resolution whatsoever to the conflict. I wasn't impressed by either of the main characters, who both seemed to have a strong opinion but then throughout the course of the book just kind of watched it float away in the wind. Ruth, the sex-ed teacher, was morally opposed to the abstinence-only program she was forced to teach; I thought that she would rebel against it somehow, championing the student's right to the real facts. However, she just kind of went along with it half-heartedly and, when she was removed from the position, seemed relieved. Tim - the ex-addict-turned-good-Christian - felt strongly about his faith, but when it was really challenged, he just up and decided it wasn't for him any more. Both of these characters were unlikeable wimps. Don't waste your time with this one. If you're interested in Perrotta, read Little Children instead.
The story fluctuates between two characters: 1)Ruth, the high school Sex Ed. teacher who is forced to teach an abstinence only program after the school is pressured to change its curriculum due to a growing faction of religious fanatics and 2) Tim, a former drug addict and alcoholic who is a member of this religious faction (also the coach for Ruth's daughter's soccer team) and his internal struggle with the demons from his former life and coping with the disconnection he is feeling with the religion he feels saved his life. All in all, it was an interesting commentary on sex, religion, and (to a degree) how they mix with public education. This story did pose many interesting points without seeming too preachy or critical, just some interesting things to consider while reading. The downside to this book was the ending. It pretty much just stopped. At first I thought I was missing pages (a recent book I read was missing pages, so it wasn't entirely unlikely), but alas, Perrotta just ends the book mid-scene. As a side-note, although the location of the town is never explicitly mentioned, I figure it is in NJ since all the colleges he refers to are NJ colleges or former names of NJ colleges and since I'm from NJ, I liked that (after finishing the book I GOOGLED Perrotta and he grew up in NJ so it's plausible)! :-P