Title: These Violent Delights
Author: Victoria Namkung
Published: November 7th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Obtained: Netgalley eARC
**Thank you to Netgalley and Griffith Moon for sending me this novel in exchange for an honest review!**
It took me awhile to digest this book and sit down to write a review. It has great promise, and the story as it unfolded was really well written and explored a sensitive topic in a positive light. I assumed it would be a bit of a mystery/thriller, but it read more like nonfiction. I couldn’t help but imagine this book as an episode of Law & Order: SVU. It’s one of my favorite shows, so that isn’t a bad thing at all for me. One woman, an intern at a literary magazine, decides to write an article accusing one of her former high school teachers of sexual abuse and molestation. The article becomes quite the success, with many readers taking sides between the victim and the accused.
I enjoyed seeing multiple perspectives on sexual assault. Caryn, Eva and Sasha all come forward to accuse the same teacher of sexual abuse, and they each have different experiences. This made me see that, despite what this man did differently to each woman, no one experience is better or worse than another. No matter what, sexual assault is a violation of someone’s body and can give victims less control over the security of their bodies.
Relevance to Today
This story is extremely relevant in today’s society, especially when it comes to the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey scandal. As the article gets even more attention through social media and news outlets, more victims speak up with stories similar to that of the original victim.
This story really brings out some negative aspects in our society towards rape victims and their accusers. Even today, women are chastised for wearing provocative clothing and drinking alcohol. Some people actually believe that those who are sexually assaulted ‘deserved it,’ while others are reprimanded for not coming forward sooner, making their stories less believable because they waited so long to make their accusations. It’s basically a he-said-she-said conundrum, but you don’t see murder victims being blamed for their current state.
I really enjoyed this book and the different perspectives and stories it told. It made me realize just how hard it is for a victim to come forward. It also made me appreciate being a woman who has a voice. This is a great read for everyone, not just women. It will make you see victims as broken people trying to rebuild their lives and trust in others.