There are a few books that just stay with you, ones you won’t forget. This is most definitely one of them. For starters, I listened to this as an audiobook instead of reading a hard copy. It was read by Grace Gummer who is Meryl Streep’s daughter. I loved how she read this book. More than loved. I so highly recommend listening to the audiobook for that reason.
The story is about a girl named Vanessa and it bounces back and forth between her POVs at age 15 and then later in her 30s. When she was in boarding school, she got into a relationship with her teacher, Jacob Strane who was 42 years old. She was 15 at the time and you see how the relationship started and everything that transpired after. He consumed Vanessa’s entire high school experience and drastically changed the course of her life. For me, the most heart-breaking part of the story was to watch the repercussions play out when she’s in her 30s. The PTSD and the mark that he left on her and her mind was so intense. Grace Gummer’s reading of Vanessa just made you feel like you knew her. You understood her relationship with Strane and why she thought the way she did. The descriptions that the author used were unlike any story that I had read before. They were so “Vanessa.” The ending was perfect, and it didn’t betray her character at all. I highly recommend this book, and I hope you give the audiobook a try.
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