Monday, January 16, 2012

Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates

From Goodreads: Teena Maguire should not have tried to shortcut her way home that Fourth of July. Not after midnight, not through Rocky Point Park. Not the way she was dressed: tank top, denim cut-offs, high-heeled sandals - like she was asking for it. Not with her twelve-year-old daughter Bethie. Not with packs of local guys running loose on hormones, rage, and alcohol. A victim of gang rape, left for dead in the park boathouse, the once vivacious, down-to-earth, sexy Teena Maguire can now only regret that she has survived. And Bethie can barely remember a childhood uncolored by fear. For they're not even a neighborhood away, out on bail, the men that she identified for the Niagara Falls Police Department, the wide-browed, sandy-haired Pick brothers; the sneering Jimmy DeLucca; Fritz Haaber with his moustache and stubbled jaw. They've got a hotshot lawyer who's got their charges reduced to simple assault. Bethie is scared; they've killed her grandmother's longhaired orange cat. This gripping new novella from Joyce Carol Oates unfolds the story of Teena and Bethie, of their insolent, cocksure assailants and their silent champion - one man who knows the meaning of justice. And love.

My track record with Joyce Carol Oates is spotty, enjoyed We Were the Mulvaneys, didn't like The Gravedigger's Daughter. This one goes in the "WIN" column; I liked it a lot. It's strange to say "liked" about a book that is so disturbing - the gang rape destroys this family and the desire for justice leads to incidents that would be disturbing on their own but in this context are unsettling yet satisfying. My complaint about this would be that she wrote it as a novella so it was short at only 154 pages. It should have been a longer book with more time to get to know the characters better.

I am trying to reach 100 books this year - I've never done it before although I have come very close, click on the logo to see how I am doing for this year!

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

The title of this book turns me off, so I never even considered it. You've made me think I should give it a try.