• naomilisashippen

My Dark Vanessa - Book Review

Updated: Jun 4




*** This Review Contains Spoilers***


Thirty-something Vanessa Wye lives in the shadow of her doomed love affair with English teacher, Jacob Strane. Recognising her potential for future greatness, Strane singles his teenaged student out for special attention, and they begin an intense and covert relationship. It’s not long before the school community becomes suspicious, and both Strane and Vanessa are called to account.


Strane convinces Vanessa to take the fall, and she denies everything, telling the school authorities that she was simply making up rumours about her and Strane. They accept her convenient excuse, forcing Vanessa to give up her scholarship to the prestigious school and leave in disgrace.


Vanessa’s life never gains any traction after that. Strane’s prediction that she would become a great and celebrated writer falls disappointingly short, and two decades on from their relationship, Vanessa has a dead-end job as a hotel concierge and lives alone in a squalid little apartment. She clings to memories of her time with Strane, believing their love was too unique for the conventional world to understand.


But then she gets a call from another student of her beloved Strane. The woman publicly accuses Strane of abusing her as an underage girl, and soon several others come forth. As the evidence mounts against him, Vanessa slowly comes to realise the true nature of the relationship that has shaped her life, and that what she thought was a great love affair was nothing more than abuse.Thirty-something Vanessa Wye lives in the shadow of her doomed love affair with English teacher, Jacob Strane. Recognising her potential for future greatness, Strane singles his teenaged student out for special attention, and they begin an intense and covert relationship. It’s not long before the school community becomes suspicious, and both Strane and Vanessa are called to account.


Strane convinces Vanessa to take the fall, and she denies everything, telling the school authorities that she was simply making up rumours about her and Strane. They accept her convenient excuse, forcing Vanessa to give up her scholarship to the prestigious school and leave in disgrace.


Vanessa’s life never gains any traction after that. Strane’s prediction that she would become a great and celebrated writer falls disappointingly short, and two decades on from their relationship, Vanessa has a dead-end job as a hotel concierge and lives alone in a squalid little apartment. She clings to memories of her time with Strane, believing their love was too unique for the conventional world to understand.


But then she gets a call from another student of her beloved Strane. The woman publicly accuses Strane of abusing her as an underage girl, and soon several others come forth. As the evidence mounts against him, Vanessa slowly comes to realise the true nature of the relationship that has shaped her life, and that what she thought was a great love affair was nothing more than abuse.


Find more of my reviews on Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20481235.Naomi_Shippen


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