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TEAM ZOELLA AUGUST 3, 2020

July Book Club 2020: My Dark Vanessa By Kate Elizabeth Russell

Without a doubt the most harrowing book club to date, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell is a novel that we were equally frightened to open and compelled to finish.

Without a doubt the most harrowing book club to date, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell is a novel that we were equally frightened to open and compelled to finish.

Billed as the most controversial book of the year, it examines the devastating effects of a sexual relationship between a fifteen-year-old girl and her teacher.

To the reader, the teacher is a textbook predator but to the young vulnerable protagonist, Vanessa, “to be groomed is to be loved and handled like a precious, delicate thing.”

You begin to see what made this month’s novel such a dark and disturbing read. Find out all our thoughts and feelings in the gallery below!

All he did was fall in love with me and the world turned him into a monster.

An era-defining novel about the relationship between a fifteen-year-old girl and her teacher.

Vanessa Wye was fifteen-years-old when she first had sex with her English teacher.

She is now thirty-two and in the storm of allegations against powerful men in 2017, the teacher, Jacob Strane, has just been accused of sexual abuse by another former student.

Vanessa is horrified by this news, because she is quite certain that the relationship she had with Strane wasn’t abuse. It was love. She’s sure of that.

Forced to rethink her past, to revisit everything that happened, Vanessa has to redefine the great love story of her life – her great sexual awakening – as rape. Now she must deal with the possibility that she might be a victim, and just one of many.

Nuanced, uncomfortable, bold and powerful, My Dark Vanessa goes straight to the heart of some of the most complex issues our age.

Trigger Warning: Rape, consent, abuse, coercion.

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