This was a gripping, dark and intense read. It tackles heavy, uncomfortable topics such as abuse, #metoo movement and pedophilia. I think what sets this book apart is the nuanced, raw writing and the focus of the story. While Nabokov’s ”Lolita” focused heavily on the abuser, ”My Dark Vanessa” focuses on the person abused.
We get to understand Vanessa wholeheartedly and truth be told, at times I was so mad at her character, that I wanted to quit reading. It was sick how she defended her abuser for 17 years. It was gut wrenching. It’s a disturbing book and wouldn’t work otherwise. I only begun to understand how severely manipulated she was by this older man about midway through the book. Vanessa had to believe it was a love story, as is stated towards the end. From a psychological viewpoint it was both disturbing and fascinating to analyze the whole grooming process – how subtle it was. And how it continued throughout the book.
Ultimately, ”My Dark Vanessa” is a character study and a look into abuse. If you like ”Lolita’‘, you probably like this one as well.
Publisher: William Morrow