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Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
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Watch Me Disappear
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Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
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White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
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Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Fictional Novel That Reminds Us Why the #Metoo Hashtag Exists

Book Review: These Violent Delights by Victoria Namkung

Well, the upcoming release of the novel, These Violent Delights, by Victoria Namkung could not be timelier. Women all over the world are using the hashtag “Me Too” to make the world aware of the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment. Dozens of celebrities are naming Harvey Weinstein’s abuse of women. Kevin Spacey is currently in the news for his behavior towards an underaged boy. So, this book is coming out at just the right time.

These Violent Delights delves into sexual abuse issues within an elite private school setting. After a young journalist pens her story about her male teacher coming on to her and her requests for help from the school being dismissed, other women come forward with their own stories about the same teacher.

The problem is that this teacher has a fantastic reputation. He is a stellar teacher, a husband, a father, a churchgoer, and apparently, a man who preys on young women. So, the school decides to keep him in his respected position rather than listen to the initial student who accuses him of misconduct. (Don’t think this happens? It does.) This novel revolves around the young journalist, her mentor at work, and two other abused women working to bring him down.

For me, this story read more like nonfiction than fiction simply because this type of thing happens all the time. All. The. Time. I can use the #metoo hashtag, as well as many of my female friends. So, the book, while fictional, was just a reminder of the stories I’ve lived or the stories I’ve heard.

I like the author using fictional characters and a swift plot to talk about something serious. The book is designed to make you talk. It will make you angry. It will make you feel things you don’t want to feel. For example, here are some quotes that stand out:

“They want a perfect victim and a perfect perpetrator.” (Yes)

“This idea that an occasional false accusation is a more serious problem than the thousands of actual instances of abuse or assault or rape enrages me like nothing else.” (Yes)

“I was being willfully ignorant. Perhaps I didn’t want to think this could be true.” (Yes)

“The fact that we worry more about the damage to a potential abuser’s or rapist’s reputation than we do about a child or teenage victim has dire consequences for all of us and our society.” (Yes)

The author does a wonderful job of showing just how easily we dismiss these types of occurrences and why it is so dangerous. It will make you think twice before you try to ignore or dismiss these claims in the future. And, if that is the author’s whole point, then good for her!

However, I will say, I HATED the ending. HATED IT. I should have known when the title comes from Romeo and Juliet quote “These violent delights have violent ends” that I would not like the ending. But, I still was not prepared. And, it felt icky. But, I think the ending is designed to make you talk.

The best books cause reactions. This one could not come at a better time. 

Thank you, NetGalley, for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review honestly. 

For those interested, you can pre-order the book here or by clicking the book cover. *These are affliliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog!

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