My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell Book Review

Book Description (via Goodreads): 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.

I have given My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell four out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trigger Warnings: sexual abuse, child abuse, grooming, paedophilia, sexually graphic

Wow. This book has my emotions bouncing all around the room. My Dark Vanessa wasn’t an easy read by any means, it took a lot of effort for me to pick it up at least once every day. I finished it last night and have to admit it took me such a long time to get to sleep because my brain kept thinking about this story. I’m still finding it hard to put this book review into words now.

Kate Elizabeth Russell did an incredible job of making the reader feel unsettled, horrified and emotionally drained. This book was very well-written to the point where I didn’t feel as though I was reading fiction, filled with a difficult subject matter as well as being a powerful and dark book I can say with a heavy hand over my heart that this book has left a permanent mark and will stay with me in my thoughts for a very long time. I liked the layout of this book, how each chapter jumps to-and-from the past and present.

Vanessa was only a fifteen-year-old girl when she started her illicit affair with her teacher Mr Strane, a forty two-year-old man. It’s disgustingly awful how much grooming and manipulation can affect a person’s entire life, which is what we see happen to Vanessa throughout the book. There are quite a few sexually graphic scenes throughout this novel which can make the reader feel rather uncomfortable.

As time went on whilst reading this book, I had a thought to myself that it would be a really difficult book to pinpoint an actual star rating for this book due to the subject matter, and it was difficult, however I finally came around to sum up my thoughts and feelings for everything about this book and gave it four stars.

Have you read My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russel? If so, what were your thoughts and feelings? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading,

Claire 📚

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