Good morning my loves!
Today, I don’t want to say an exciting post, because this one is one of the most heartbreaking yet necessary books that I have ever read and had a deeply profound. I was lucky enough to be sent a proof of this in preparation for the blog tour that’s currently underway and today I am here to share with you my review.
* Thank you to Duckworth Books for sending me a gifted copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Title: Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl
Author: Jeannie Vanasco
Publication date: 3rd of October 2019
My rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads rating: 4.35
Genre: Nonfiction, memoir
Jeannie Vanasco has had the same nightmare since she was a teenager. She startles awake, saying his name. It is always about him: one of her closest high school friends, a boy named Mark. A boy who raped her.
When her nightmares worsen, Jeannie decides—after fourteen years of silence—to reach out to Mark. He agrees to talk on the record and meet in person. “It’s the least I can do,” he says.
Jeannie details her friendship with Mark before and after the assault, asking the brave and urgent question: Is it possible for a good person to commit a terrible act? Jeannie interviews Mark, exploring how rape has impacted his life as well as her own. She examines the language surrounding sexual assault and pushes against its confines, contributing to and deepening the #MeToo discussion.
Exacting and courageous, Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl is part memoir, part true crime record, and part testament to the strength of female friendships—a recounting and reckoning that will inspire us to ask harder questions and interrogate our biases. Jeannie Vanasco examines and dismantles long-held myths of victimhood, discovering grace and power in this genre-bending investigation into the trauma of sexual violence.
Overall opinion of the book:
Okay, as I always do with memoirs, I found it difficult in this case to ‘review’ this book. After all, what right do I have to ‘judge’ a person’s experiences? I will say though, I connected to this book on a deeper level – as I’m sure many women out there will.
What I particularly enjoyed about Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl was the way in which it was written. Dozens of little vignettes interspaced with call transcripts and emails between Jeannie and ‘Mark’. I think this style of prose lends itself well to the subject matter – allowing the reader to read in smaller chunks, allowing time to process etc.
This book is definitely one for out time. With the #MeToo movement having a cataclysmic impact on the lives of celebrities, with historical offences coming out of the woodwork, it is so important that we never forget that these awful things not only happen to people we see on our screens, but our friends and neighbours too.
This relatively short book sure packs in a lot of deep and possibly triggering topics;
and more. So if you’re someone that find these topics difficult to read about, just be cautious.
A necessary book, though difficult to read, that reminds us as humans that we should not have to downplay our experiences and that social view, while they have come a long way, still have a journey to undertake. Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl by Jeannie Vanasco is available right now if you’d like to get your hands on it.
Peace and pages