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My Dark Vanessa: A Novel

My Dark Vanessa: A Novel

Escrito por Kate Elizabeth Russell

Narrado por Grace Gummer


My Dark Vanessa: A Novel

Escrito por Kate Elizabeth Russell

Narrado por Grace Gummer

avaliações:
4.5/5 (717 avaliações)
Comprimento:
16 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Mar 10, 2020
ISBN:
9780062941534
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Descrição

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa's present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era—defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

Includes a bonus conversation with Kate Elizabeth Russell, Grace Gummer, and Jessica Williams (editor of My Dark Vanessa).

Editora:
Lançado em:
Mar 10, 2020
ISBN:
9780062941534
Formato:
Audiolivro

Também disponível como...

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Sobre o autor

Kate Elizabeth Russell is originally from eastern Maine. She holds a PhD in creative writing from the University of Kansas and an MFA from Indiana University. My Dark Vanessa is her first novel.


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O que as pessoas pensam sobre My Dark Vanessa

4.3
717 avaliações / 46 Análises
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Avaliações de leitores

  • (5/5)
    This is such an important read, difficult to swallow. I think it explored the topic of rape and rape culture in a way we can understand better the behaviour of a predator and this enabling society. The author also handled it with care and I felt like I connected to Vanessa in so many ways. It had a strong effect on the way I see abuse, In the way we percieve victims and how we think we are supposed to help them.
  • (5/5)
    This was really good, but intense and at times unsettling due the nature of it. It’s a great book for social workers/other health professionals as it shows the complexities and lasting trauma of situations like the ones talked about in the book. It was wonderfully narrated, she really brought the main character to life and changed with her over the years.
  • (5/5)
    Beautiful writing and detailed characters. Explores a gripping, nuanced subject without being pedantic.
  • (4/5)
    Wow! Dark indeed! Good book, well written and very well narrated.
    An important book, for women especially, any of whom could probably relate to it on some visceral level as it is universal and endemic to all women’s experience. A real roller coaster of a ride. I found myself switching sides and allegiances throughout.
    A great book club choice. As a matter of fact, the last chapter or so includes several interviews with the author.
    On my list of “I’ll buy it when I see it offered on sale somewhere”. BTW, one of the things I really love about SCRIBD is I get to listen to the whole book first before deciding whether or not I like it enough to go out and purchase it as a permanent member of one of my Audiobook libraries . ☺️
  • (4/5)
    Gritty, compulsive, and thought-provoking. Created a sense of urgency when reading, as if I discovered something dangerous and critical. Captivating prose, albeit squeamish content.
  • (4/5)
    All too often the amount of buzz about an upcoming release the greater the risk that it fails to live up to the hype surrounding it, despite a fleeting boost in sales and generated excitement. Occasionally, a book that is widely anticipated and publicized proves to be deserving of all the acclaim it has received. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, with its skillful portrayal of an important but seldomly heard voice, is firmly in this category. Russell creates a character that is fully developed and heart-wrenchingly real, all while delivering a story that addresses the zeitgeist of the #MeToo movement from a perspective that invites a deeper contemplation of the issues. Vanessa is a young woman who is being pressured to testify about an “affair” she had with a teacher 17 years prior. A woman is accusing the teacher of inappropriate and sexually abusive behavior and wants Vanessa to join her in providing evidence against him. Vanessa, however, believes that what she experienced was genuinely consensual and she seeks to assert her autonomy by taking some of the blame on herself. The book vacillates between past and current events, beginning with a shy and naïve Vanessa at fifteen as she enters her Sophomore year at boarding school. These flashbacks reveal a girl who at that time is mourning the loss of a close friendship and is insecure and plaintively seeking validation. The character of Stroud is wonderfully written as more than just a predatory monster who takes advantage of weak girls. He is subtle in his approach, manipulating her into thinking she is the instigator of his indomitable attraction for this “one-time” lapse on his part. Vanessa remembers how she willingly exchanged her innocence for the attention and praise Stroud lavished upon her—bolstering her self-worth and making her feel respected and loved. As the recollections move forward in time, she realizes that their relationship was predicated by a skewed power dynamic and her obsession with this older man continues to influence her current decisions and relationships. As an adult who is not living up to her potential and copes by self-destructive acts, Vanessa’s long-term damage is extensive despite her denial. Vanessa grapples with the fact that she still feels compelled to protect Stroud and grateful for his role in her life. She rejects the label of “victim” and all the powerlessness that the word implies. The novel does not shy away from graphically describing Vanessa’s thoughts as she is alternatively aroused and repelled by her abuser. It raises questions about consent—its amorphic forms and maturity requirements, especially in the current age of early onset of sexual activity. Russell does not succumb to the customary waves of anger and need for retribution but chooses to instead examine the costs to victims when they submit themselves to scrutiny even when they are unprepared to do so. This pressure to come forward reflects how much evidence is required for victims to be believed and for justice to be (rarely) served. The Stroud character is depicted as man who experiences true regret and sadness but acts in cold self-preservation when cornered. Like Humbert Humbert in Nabokov’s Lolita (a book alluded to throughout the story), Strane evokes sympathy as well as contempt. The true villains of the book are the other adults: Vanessa’s parents and teachers who fail to see what is happening and then refuse to protect her when all is exposed. Also implicated are the people who are so consumed with gaining retribution that invoking punishment becomes more important than compassion. My Dark Vanessa is timely and thought-provoking, a stand-out among the flood of books already dedicated to these issues. Vivid and unforgettable, Vanessa’s story is one that will be unfortunately too familiar to many. For them, this book may either act as a trigger to be avoided or as a solace to see it expressed so well. Thanks to the author and William Morrow for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing writing and amazing narration. Should be a recommended reading for all educators and child psychologists
  • (4/5)
    The narrator was great. This is a tough read with difficult subject matter. I enjoyed it. A story that makes one think.
  • (5/5)
    Good book. Deep and dark. Voice was easy to listen too and very captivating
  • (5/5)
    Exellent book 10 stars 1000 stars, a new favorit of all time
  • (5/5)
    Wonderful well written book. Couldn't stop listening to it. Fleshed out characters and faceted. Well worth the time. Thank you Kate Russell for a wonderful book.
  • (5/5)
    Very difficult subject but written beautifully. Push through, finish.
  • (4/5)
    MDV was intentionally exhausting. We are made to suffer alongside Vanessa, a victim of sexual abuse who refuses to paint herself as a victim. This book explores how years of sexual abuse devastates & disrupts every aspect of her life. Provocative and controversial, the author does an outstanding job of bringing authentic voices to the #MeToo movement. This will probably not be for every reader. Proceed with caution, plenty of trigger warnings.
  • (4/5)
    Good storyline. Interesting characters. Much to contemplate from several directions. Love the narration.
  • (5/5)
    So many content warnings here. A great, gut-wrenching book. The narration was superb.
  • (4/5)
    I'm not so sure yet on how I feel about this book and how to rate it right now. I need to talk with someone about this one.
  • (4/5)
    Its a good book and i feel traumatized now
  • (4/5)
    *No spoilers* This book was amazing. It can be confusing if you aren't paying attention, especially when she jumps from year to year. I love when a book makes me feel a range of emotions, this one definitely does. I went from cringing to crying to angry and back again. I gave it four starts only due to the fact that I feel that some things that I saw as important were not given enough development. Otherwise you will not be disappointed!
  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    Wonderful, uncomfortable, and thought-provoking, this book really describes the conflict of the girl who was abused and what it means for her to view herself as a victim versus an accomplice. It beautifully, though disturbingly, portrays adolescence and sexuality and how that can be exploited by predators. It has helped me look at myself with more compassion. I highly recommend this book for everyone, and especially those who deal with teenagers.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (4/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    The fiction was perfectly illustrated with a apt voice for its narration.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (1/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    I know that I will catch lots of flak for this but it seems to be an exercise in self-indulgence. I am reading the 4th chapter and I have to say that the parents have to be held accountable for this. Where is the family unit? Children don't have the judgement to see ulterior motives in adults and if you don't provide this as mothers and fathers, then you are abandoning your child. The mother should have talked to the teacher or the father and reported inappropriate touching in the beginning. In this age of Face Time, text messages and so many other ways to keep in touch, it seems a bit odd to me that they just let her do what she wanted to do...As a father, I tried to be caring and compassionate towards our daughter but one of her boyfriends had extreme anger issues and I ended up getting cut when he had a tantrum in our house. That was the end of their relationship. I didn't press charges or threaten him with a beating. He was already getting enough of that at home... Part of this goes to the images that Hollywood has implanted in our brains as to what men and women should be... The daughter is obviously very emotionally needy and stunted, which is why she should not have been able to be on her own, no matter how smart she was. I am not buying the "Me Too" rationalization on this one because you don't allow a toddler to have access to loaded guns...

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    Thought provoking and beautiful. The author’s words will creep inside your bones and echo with you, making you feel them to your core.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (1/5)
    It was so slow. Very boring story line so weird.
  • (3/5)

    2 pessoas acharam isso útil

    MY DARK VANESSA is really a two-star book for me because of its subject matter. I would have and maybe should have stopped reading the book after the first chapter. But I wanted to figure this girl out. So, for that reason, I think other readers might not be so put off and rate the book with three stars.Vanessa is a lonely 15-year-old. She doesn’t have friends. She eats by herself in the cafeteria. Then her male English teacher gives her some attention. It begins with a pat on the knee. She likes it. You can guess where it goes from there.Chapters alternate between her high school and college years and when she is about 15 years older. Otherwise, I could not have finished the book. As it is, I still have not figured her out.I won an ARC of MY DARK VANESSA from William Morrow Books.

    2 pessoas acharam isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    A beautiful exploration of the complexities occasionally attached to navigating a pedophilic relationship, from the survivor's viewpoint. In no way does the novel excuse the behavior of Vanessa's teacher, but it correctly depicts the sometimes multifaceted nature of this connection--providing Vanessa agency.

    Reader was excellent.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    A very engaging book with a wonderful narrator! She acted the way each character spoke perfectly, giving the listener the exact feel the book wanted to give

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    As many have already said, this is often hard to listen to because of the content alone. But what a great debut novel. Grace Gummer was an amazing narrator and really brought Vanessa to life!

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (3/5)
    Such a LONG but short book. It was hard to finish as it dragged on. The book was super hard to read for reasons others mentioned as well.
  • (5/5)

    3 pessoas acharam isso útil

    Vanessa Wye is 15 years old in 2000. She’s insecure and naïve and oh so young. She’s an easy target for her teacher, Jacob Strane, who is 42 years old and a pedophile. While Strane carefully grooms Vanessa towards his ultimate goals, Vanessa is convinced that her actions are consensual and that this is what she wants. Switch to 2017. The “Me Too” movement is in full swing. A former student has accused Strane of abuse. He’s counting on Vanessa to back him up. Vanessa assures him that she will since she has always believed that she was the instigator of their affair. As she reaches back into her memory and reads of the new allegations against Strane, her perceptions and beliefs of the past subtly start to shift.Wow, just wow. What a powerful, mesmerizingly sad book this is. My heart bled for Vanessa as I watched her heart and soul open itself to this abusive man. She just wanted to feel special, to feel beautiful, to feel loved. Strane took advantage of that desire and brought such devastation and confusion into Vanessa’s life. I’ve read reviews saying that this book looks at whether this situation should be considered abuse if it’s consensual, but I truly don’t see how anyone could believe that this was consensual on Vanessa’s part. Strane wouldn’t stop even as she lay there crying. She was manipulated into believing this was what she wanted. Every word that Strane said to her, every look he gave her, every caress he risked was to bring this young girl around to his thinking. He even used the books he was teaching to convince her of how “special” she was.Most highly recommended. This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.

    3 pessoas acharam isso útil

  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    This was a very difficult book to get through, but it was so well written and very complex. I liked it despite the fact that it had me wincing once in awhile at some passages. A powerful book to read and digest.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil