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My Dark Vanessa

de Kate Elizabeth Russell

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

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8477018,779 (4.07)33
Seventeen years ago, bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye became entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. Now, 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?… (més)
Afegit fa poc pergaskella, dvnmng, Chhichhia.diva.tejas, Dreklogar, nbsp, biblioteca privada, Arina42, Schatje, TrixieP
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Es mostren 1-5 de 70 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This book felt like a cleanse, a healing experience. It was incredibly dark, but in a very real and open way. Vanessa putting herself down and being full of self-loathing both felt so sad and real. Her thoughts and the way she was manipulated really puts many life experiences into perspective, this book is a definite recommendation for anyone who can stomach it! ( )
  Dreklogar | Apr 12, 2021 |
I listened to this book on morning walks for the last couple of weeks. Its subject matter didn’t make it the pleasantest of companions, but I could not but be impressed by its realistic exploration of the aftermath of abuse.

The narrator is Vanessa Wye. When she was 15 she had a sexual relationship with her 42-year-old English teacher, Jacob Strane, at a private boarding school in Maine. The novel begins when she is 32 and Strane is accused of sexual abuse by another former student who wants Vanessa to come forward and speak openly about what happened to her. Vanessa is adamant that she was not abused and that her relationship with Strane was a romance.

The novel moves back and forth between 2017 and when Vanessa was in boarding school and in university. Despite her unwillingness to accept that she is a victim, it is clear that she has been harmed. Her academic promise has been unfulfilled as she works as a hotel concierge. She relies on alcohol and drugs to help her through her days. She is still fixated on Strane; when she doesn’t see him, she has casual encounters with older men.

Strane is a textbook predator. He recognizes a lonely girl craving attention and takes advantage of her vulnerability. He flatters her with compliments so she feels special and treasured. Slowly he grooms her. He convinces her that she is beguiling so she feels powerful. He also manipulates her to see herself as dark and bad and so willing to engage in a dark relationship which society would label as bad. Strane even uses Vanessa’s love of books; he leads her to interpret Lolita as a story of forbidden love. He is so adept at manipulation that, though Vanessa feels more physical repulsion than attraction, she finds his attentions irresistible.

Vanessa is not always a likeable character, but the reader has to remind him/herself that, though she refuses to see herself as one, she is a classic victim. She continues to protect her abuser, defending and justifying his treatment of her. There is no sudden epiphany for Vanessa but that just emphasizes the extent of the psychological manipulation to which she has been subjected. She needs to see herself as fully complicit or she will have to admit she was not unique and powerful as Strane led her to believe. She has written a fiction to explain her life to herself and if she rejects that fiction, she will be totally lost.

This is an uncomfortable, unsettling book with some very disturbing scenes. Nonetheless, it is worth reading because it illustrates the impact of abuse and why women often refuse to view themselves as victims of abuse.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski). ( )
  Schatje | Apr 11, 2021 |
In the year 2000, 15-year-old Vanessa Wye begins her second year at Browick, a private boarding school in Maine. Reeling and hurt after a parting of ways from her previous roommate Jenny, and with no other close friends, she gradually becomes close to her English teacher, 42-year-old Jacob Strane. A relationship soon develops, crossing a line as to what most would consider appropriate given their age difference. A scandal occurs, though Vanessa never really is able to give up ties to Strane. 17 years later, she is still living with the repercussions of their actions and relationship, amid a blooming "Me Too" movement.

There is so much I could say about this novel, and yet it's hard to put all my feelings into writing. So many layers, so many feelings, so many questions. I just finished this on audio (which was very good), along with an author interview and blog interview. This is a modern-day Lolita story (though better, in my opinion), and though many readers probably feel strongly about many aspects of this novel, I don't necessarily feel that things are always so black and white. This is a story begging for discussion. Lots of great quotes in here. In some ways I wish I had not read it on audio, as I would've loved to highlight quotes and discussion points. As a reader, I found myself frequently changing my perception on things. This reminded me a lot of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood, which I also really enjoyed and wanted to discuss with someone after reading. If you can handle disturbing-to-some subject matter, I highly recommend this. I am anxious to discuss it at book club. ( )
  indygo88 | Apr 10, 2021 |
When Vanessa Wye returns to her private boarding school, Browick, for sophomore year, she's uncertain what the year holds for her. Having lost the friendship of her freshman year roommate, Jenny, she's starting anew and alone. A scholarship kid at a wealthy school with high expectations, she's easily overwhelmed by the work and embittered at the loss of her friend. Isolated and vulnerable, she welcomes a newfound connection with her English teach, Mr. Strane, who singles her out, gives her extracurricular books to read, and makes her feel special. While it seems to begin innocently enough, Strane's behavior soon begins to edge into the inappropriate, oddly personal compliments, stolen touches, and eventually a whole illicit relationship. But it's what Vanessa wants....or so she thinks. As the pair's relationship escalates to an inconceivable pedophilic fantasy, Vanessa, believing herself in love, puts everything on the line.

As soon as he says this, I become someone somebody else is in love with, and not just some dumb boy my own age but a man who has already lived an entire life, who has done and seen so much and still thinks I'm worthy of his love. I feel forced over a threshold, thrust out of my ordinary life into a place where it's possible for grown men to be so pathetically in love with me they fall at my feet.

In alternating chapters, we get a glimpse of Vanessa's adult life as she watches events unfold when another student of Strane's reports his sexual misconduct. Suddenly, Vanessa's life is in the spotlight as Taylor searches for allies to speak out against Strane, but Vanessa doesn't see herself as a victim, never has. Her life tells a different story, though. Struggling under the weight of her wasted potential and broken relationships, Vanessa finally begins to plumb the depths of the damage Strane's attentions did to her.

I think it will be just one of many unbelievable things about 2020 that one of my favorite books of the year will be one about a young girl and the pedophile she loves, but here we are. My Dark Vanessa is as compelling as it is hard to read. Vanessa is a marvelously drawn, emotionally complex character, clearly damaged by her high school relationship with Mr. Strane that reaches its tentacles into her adult life, and yet stubbornly unwilling to think of herself or be thought of as a victim. Russell has achieved that fragile balance of creating a character who really isn't likeable and creating a character who still draws readers' sympathy and hope for redemption. My Dark Vanessa is a vivid and layered story about power, consent, abuse, victimhood and the far-reaching repercussions of a dark and twisted "romance" that should never have been. Highly recommended, if you have a stomach for the subject matter. ( )
  yourotherleft | Mar 14, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 70 (següent | mostra-les totes)
En helstøpt, sitrende og akkurat passende ubehagelig Metoo-roman, som lugger deg i din moralske hjerterot.

«Min mørke Vanessa»: En historie om forbudt kjærlighet?

Nei. Eller jo. Men nei.

Mens jeg som leser røres inn i en grumsete grøt av lengsel, erotikk, løgner og manipulasjon, blir jeg likevel i tvil til tider. For hvor går egentlig grensen mellom overgrep og destruktiv kjærlighet? Hva er definisjonen på maktmisbruk, og når og hvordan gjelds prinsippet om samtykke? Ikke minst: Hvem er dommerne som definerer?
afegit per annek49 | editaNRK, Shana Fevang Mathai (Apr 30, 2020)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (6 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Kate Elizabeth Russellautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Gummer, GraceNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Restrepo, XimenaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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For the real-life Dolores Hayes and Vanessa Wyes whose stories have not yet been heard, believed, or understood
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Seventeen years ago, bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye became entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. Now, 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?

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