Gift from a friend
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.
I really thought that this would be a very good thriller. But it turned out it wasn’t thriller at all. The subject is dark and disturbing, but the whole plot is very well written. I must say that. Even if I struggled with the subject, I can’t give low rate.
So, here’s the plot…
Vanessa is a bright new student, she is fifteen years old and she starts new school. She is a loner and starts English literature classes. The one who notices her, is the English teacher. The man is forty-five, and he seduces her. They start sexual relationship. Techically, he doesn’t rape her, but he is adult, and she is a minor, and that is concidered as rape. She is expelled from school, but they continue the relationship through the years. Seventeen years later, he is accused for other sexual harassments. And Vanessa’s name shows up in the investigation.
She has to choose… To support other girls , students who were harassed by him, defend him or stay silent and not involve at all. She gave herself to him voluntarily, she loved him, he loved her too. But she finds out that he used the very same words of seduction to the other girls. Was their love real or was it only in her imagination?
This was a very disturbing subject for me. I really struggled with it. But I admire the author to enter into the head of the victim and show us the real struggle inside. Many victims don’t see themselves as victims. They are seduced with nice words, words of quilt, words of shame, words full of lies. The predator creates a web around the victim like a spider, catches his pray and creates an illusion that she can never escape. Can’t she?
I have no idea if there are autobiographic elements in this story, but the whole story seems so real, the pain, the feelings, everything is so real. It kept my attention till the last page, it is well written and that’s why I am rating it with four stars.