My Dark Vanessa
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, h...more
So, on with my thoughts. My Dark Vanessa is certainly not an easy book and I get why some readers have found it to be ov ...more
"I think we're very similar, Nessa," he whispers. "From the way you write, I can tell you're a dark romantic like me. You like dark things."
3 1/2 stars. I really really want to give this book a higher rating, but I cannot justify it when it is almost twice as long as it needed to be.
My Dark Vanessa has many powerful moments. It's a discomfiting, horrible story about an adult woman reevaluating the relationship she had with her English teacher when she was a teenager. It is reminiscent of Th ...more
gather my wits, wear my big girl’s pants and breathe in breathe out several times deeply!
And I started again… This is most disturbing, painful, heart bleeding, psychologically consuming, complex, soul crushing, life changing story I’ve been lately read! It’s harsh, raw, realistic, provocative, brave, dark, b ...more
Come and be worshipped, come and be caressed.Vanessa Wye is thirty-two years old, working a dead-end hotel job in Portland, Maine, and attending grief-counseling therapy following the death of her father. She cannot move on with her life. I suppose many of ...more
My Dark Vanessa, crimson-barred, my blest
My Admirable butterfly! Explain
How could you, in the gloam of Lilac Lane,
Have let uncouth, hysterical John Shade
Blubber your face, and ear, and shoulder blade?
- From the poem Pale Fire by Nabakov
These helpful and compelling insights include phrases like “beautiful writing.” “I don’t like the characters.” “At first this was hard to get into but then I enjoyed it.”
You know. The kind of bring-the-house-down literary criticisms that have the world’s finest book reviews and newspaper Sunday sections knocking at my d ...more
(Thank you, William Morrow, for a finished copy!)
This was one of the hardest books I've ever read. I hope to be able to write a full review soon, but I will say that the ending might feel really heartbreaking and disappointing, but that is because we live in a heartbreaking and disappointing reality. There is no wrong way to heal and live through horrible things that were done to you, and there is no time limit either.
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Content and Trigger W ...more
I wish I could somehow unread this disturbing book.
My curiosity got the best of me after reading the countless 5 star reviews. It wasn’t a storyline that appealed to me but I had to see what all the buzz was about. After reading halfway through and feeling like I was missing something, I continued on as my curiosity kept pushing me further and had me thinking “this must get better”. Unfortunately, it didn’t get better after halfway, in fact, it got worse. I finished this novel feeling ...more
Take a look at the cover of My Dark Vanessa. (Go on. Look.)
Now, look again. Reeaally look. Longer, this time.
Is it me? Or does the photo not just say it all? Personally, I find the stark image of the woman’s face to be one of the saddest, most hauntingly beautiful photographs I have ever seen. Her melancholy expression instantly grabs one’s attention; her evident pain draws the observer in. It’s stunning – and it so artfully, wordle ...more
TW: sexual assault, rape, pedophilia, grooming, manipulation, gaslighting, victim shaming ...more
Vanessa, 15 years of age,
grew up in a quiet small town in Maine - on
She attended Browick High School - a boarding school...couple hours away from her home. Too young to drive- her mother usually drove her to school and picked her back up to come home during holiday breaks.
Early in the book I wondered if Vanessa’s mother had serious reasons to worry about her daughter’s basic state of well-being...or if the mother was just being a typical mom. ( “make some friends”, ...more
grooming, predatory behaviour, sexual assault, and victim statements are all topics that are extremely important and should not be taken lightly. i dont want my review or opinion of this work of fiction to be synonymous with how i view these things in real life. because thats not the c ...more
In the review, I said I'd talk more about the ending here. So here we go (view spoiler)[ I didn't expect it to end where it did. I thought she would be further along before we left her, that she would be starting to put her life back to together but it seemed like she was just starting to start. ...more
“He worships me - his dark Vanessa. I’m lucky to have this, to be so loved.”
THIS is how to write a book about an abusive relationship between a grown man and a child. Not Lolita. Lolita can fuck off. (I hated that book - in case you can’t tell.)
Vanessa is 15 years old when she begins a sexual relationship with her 42 year old English teacher Jacob Strane. We read everything that goes on, how he lured her and ultimately entrapped he ...more
This is unequivocally the most disturbing book I read this year.
What is this book about?
We can tell the crux of this novel in just a single sentence. It is the story of Vanessa, a 15-year-old and her "relationship" with her 42-year-old English teacher Jacob Strane. The actual theme of this book can't be construed like that because this book has too many dimensions, of which we can comprehend only a few.
1) Is it a story of an innocent teenager exploited by an older perso ...more
I won this book in a Goodreads book giveaway and I was so excited because it was one of my most anticipating reads.
This book was so dark and disturbing. It was one of the most disturbing books that I ever read. This one was way out of my comfort zone. I love books that are dark and disturbing but this one was so unsettling. It stayed with me for a long time and I couldn't get it out of my head. I was so disappointed in this book. This book was not my genre but I saw all the glowing five ...more
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
You go in a girl and come out not quite a woman but close, a girl more conscious of herself and her own power. Self-awareness is a good thing. It leads to confidence, knowing one's place in the world. He made me see myself in a way a boy my own age never could. No one can convince me that I would have been better off if I'd been like the other girls at school, giving blow jobs to hand jobs, all that endless labor, before being deemed a slut and thrown away. At least Strane loved me. At l...more
This story goes back and forth in time from when Vanessa started attending a boarding school at 15 years of age and has a relationship with her 42 year old English teacher and in her later years when she is a 32 year old adult.
Vanessa had a dark side, kept to herself.. quite a solitary personality. Her teacher paid her a lot of attention and complimented her and loaned out his favorite books to her etc.. she actually started seeking him out, felt special and felt powerful over ...more
- Kate Elizabeth Russell, My Dark Vanessa
“Come and be worshipped, come and be caressed,
My dark Vanessa, crimson-barred, my blest…”
- Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
Whatever else can be said about Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanes ...more
I'm finally writing a review for this.. after a month.
This book left me feeling sad, frustrated, horrified and disgusted.
I haven't read Lolita yet but from the many references in this book, I feel like I got the gist of it. In this novel, Lolita was used as an instrument of deception, control and even justification.
We have a 15-year-old girl away from her family, at a private boarding school. She is a typical teenager, full of insecurities, misplaced anger, and self-righteousness.
Brief synopsis: Vanessa is only 15 years old when her English teacher starts grooming her, and then ultimately proceeds to rape her under the guise of a “relationship” between them. 17 years later, just as the fall of famous and powerful men start making the news due to their sexual misconducts, Vanessa’s former English teacher has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student.
Everything in this book is horrifying, including the fact that Vanessa ...more
I do not know what will be typed here. I will move forward and do my best to censor minimally. I will not succeed.
I read this book in small morsels. I could not contain many of my emotions as I read. I ached for Vanessa and the many thousands of teenage girls and boys that fall prey to malignant narcissists and sexual abusers. Unlike Vanessa, we as adult readers know that what happened to her so many times from the age of 15 to well into her twenties s ...more
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 du ...more
|The Challenge Fac...: D.L. & Ezi - My Dark Vanessa||15||12||5 hours, 12 min ago|
|Challenge Corner: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell --> Starting April 11th, 2021||2||8||13 hours, 18 min ago|
|Play Book Tag: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell – 4 Stars||3||10||Apr 02, 2021 01:42PM|
|Goodreads Choice ...: My Dark Vanessa - March 6th||22||81||Apr 02, 2021 09:56AM|
|The Book Darlings : Im Back/ November Book Of The Month||8||16||Nov 12, 2020 01:10PM|
Articles featuring this book
“I know,” she says.
“Because if it isn’t a love story, then what is it”? I look to her glassy eyes, her face of wide open empathy. “It’s my life,” I say. “This has been my whole life.”