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My Dark Vanessa

By Kate Elizabeth Russell

Instagram Chat Group

(William Morrow)

April 20, 2020

Dear Readers,

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell. Some of you have read it. Some of you are currently reading it. Some of you are contemplating reading it. Some of you have never even heard of this debut novel.  

If anyone is interested, I am hosting a Discussion Group with my friend Katie from Texas about this heartbreaking novel.  If you would like to read this book or have already read it and need a place to talk, I invite you to hop on Instagram and DM me to be added to one of the chat groups.  You do not need to have a public account to join. The groups are currently being formed and an open discussion will be held now through the end of May. It is a safe space to help us all process this complicated, brilliantly crafted story.  


Why all the fuss about this book???? In short, it is the story of a fifteen-year-old girl and her relationship with her 42-year-old HIgh School teacher. It is a book that shines a light on things that are strenuous to acknowledge.  It is a book that is easier to just not read. It is a book that has my mind twisted every which way. It is a book that never leaves me, even when my reading time is through. It is a book that makes me feel terribly uncomfortable yet completely captivated.  It is a book that makes my stomach turn and my mind wander. It is a book filled with power. It is a book that is so beautifully written that my heart is aching. It is a book that I NEED TO TALK ABOUT NOW!


*** Warning*** This book is NOT for everyone.   Trigger warnings are abundant… sexual assault, pedophiles, grooming, strong sexual content, suicide, and emotional trauma, just to name a few.  Take care of you!


Be sure to use our handy dandy #mydarkvanessachat and tag us if you like!  We would love to hear from you.



“2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?”

Look forward to chatting with everyone!



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