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TRIGGER WARNING I didnt expect to read this story I had never heard of it or the author I was having a long, sweaty day and popped into the library to kill some time before catching the bus home In fact, I almost walked right past it But a word jumped out at me from a black and white cover rape My feminist bells are ringing Is that a cover of black and white hearts Is that a story titled Rape a love story So it only takes me a second to double take and backtrack I pick up this small bo TRIGGER WARNING I didnt expect to read this story I had never heard of it or the author I was having a long, sweaty day and popped into the library to kill some time before catching the bus home In fact, I almost walked right past it But a word jumped out at me from a black and white cover rape My feminist bells are ringing Is that a cover of black and white hearts Is that a story titled Rape a love story So it only takes me a second to double take and backtrack I pick up this small book with rape on the cover and begin to read And I m hooked I miss 2buses just to sit there and finish this story It s brutal and I tear up As a feminist ive read hundreds of articles on rape culture, on survivors being arrested and forced to testify, of teenage girls being accused of being too mature and seductive Ive read the articles about the failures of universities in addressing rape on campus, of the statistics of sexual assault in the military, of women being gang raped and end up comatose in hospital, eventually slipping away Ive seen the pie charts, the lines of statistics 1 in 5 women I know about the injustice of the courts Despite all this, this small, obscure story hits right fucking home The brutality The inhumanity The injustice The alienation I am right there with Teena and Beth as Teena is brutalized and left to die.I can see the 12 year old in my mind with a dislocated arm and hearing the screams of her mother They talk about how she deserved it They talk about her clothes How she was asking for it Shes in court and her attackers are right there, while there is only one other woman in this court And they accuse her of being a hooker, of the rape being consensual They attempt to sully her name, her sexual history The injustice and horror of it is like a bitter taste in my mouth, and a sickening in my stomach Teena is shattered and betrayed by a system designed to protect her and bring her justice, and she is re traumatized The girl watches on as her mother falls apart.The final justices that the rapists meet is like sick wish fulfillment for the reader revenge, vigilante justice The ending shows that these women are not victims, but survivors They dont forget, but they can live happy fulfilling lives away from an event they felt defined them Rape a love story is a social commentary It is a critique of rape culture, of the way we treat women, of the way we fail survivors, of the way they are humiliated, traumatized and beaten down What the fuck is wrong with us as a note, I think it would be legitimate criticism to say that this book doesn t address the fact that most rapes are committed by people the survivors know and even trust, as well as the fact that many rapes are not this clearly violent and brutal Am I allowed to say I love this while I honestly hate it I hate everything it shows I hateor less every single event in it I hate how degenerated some characters become I hate how much this book is needed.I absolutely hate that this behavior is found in our reality.Something else I love this book Most of all, I like the humanizing of the events Oates pulls the story of a gang rape and its aftermath off, however this is possible when this is such an unspeakable crime For over a day I Am I allowed to say I love this while I honestly hate it I hate everything it shows I hateor less every single event in it I hate how degenerated some characters become I hate how much this book is needed.I absolutely hate that this behavior is found in our reality.Something else I love this book Most of all, I like the humanizing of the events Oates pulls the story of a gang rape and its aftermath off, however this is possible when this is such an unspeakable crime For over a day I ve been trying to understand why I can even remotely like this book when I was disgusted while reading it And now I understand Because I will hate every event if I re read this, but I will simultaneously feel the honesty in every word Feel this brutal truth seep through the pages of a mother who s free will is taken away, and the story of a daughter who lives in the aftermath of the abuse done to her mother.I do not love this book because it s a sweet story, or has a happy ending, or anything like this I love it because it s the truth No sugarcoating No glitter at the edges No soothing words It s the truth It s reality It s what people must understand is happening to victims of rape in any form I love it because of this brutal honesty that few authors can pull off I love it because some authors are ready to show this crime I love it because it says what needs to be said.Just as the reasons for my adoration for the author writing this story, I hate that it needs to be written.The title Rape A Love Story is both accurate and not This is not a book for those looking for romance for none of this exists within these pages The love is between child and mother Of struggling through the world when it turns against you with your family standing next to you It s about doing what you have to do to survive, make it through Despite the title, I love this As I said, I love how the author puts an honest, brutal, humanized presentation on the subject But I will hate the story all the same I love the book, not the story It s shocking and almost unforgiving that I have been on this earth for 30 years and have never read Joyce Carol Oates Reading her entire cannon will soon become my latest addiction in 2009 So how do I review this novel note I am writing this review after already having read Zombie a few days ago First of all, Joyce C Oates, where have you been all my life And to my literary friends Why did nobody tell me about the lyricism, harshness, brilliant POV changes, and upsetting yet beauti It s shocking and almost unforgiving that I have been on this earth for 30 years and have never read Joyce Carol Oates Reading her entire cannon will soon become my latest addiction in 2009 So how do I review this novel note I am writing this review after already having read Zombie a few days ago First of all, Joyce C Oates, where have you been all my life And to my literary friends Why did nobody tell me about the lyricism, harshness, brilliant POV changes, and upsetting yet beautiful prose How dare you make me wait so long to discover this author It seems almost uncouth that I am saying these things while reviewing a novel titled Rape A Love Story But that is exactly what it is A brutal, disgusting, nauseating, angering crime, followed by a non existent trial as Oates makes clear why bother But yet in a disturbing but also innocent way only could this have worked from Oates second person POV of the young Bethie it s a love story Maybe a love story that should send second person narrative Bethie to therapy for the rest of her life But the way Oates has concisely and sharply pointed her narrative like a sharp dagger or worse and then mixed the story with illegal justice and innocent motives, makes this novel disturbing, stunning and bitter sweet Wow This book deals with a horrible situation if you hadn t already guessed from the title in the most beautiful way.Weird to say considering the harsh content, but no less true.She writes all the POV s from a 3rd party narrative which allowed me to distance myself from the subject matter while still staying connected to the characters.I loved it and will definitely be seeking outJoyce Carol Oates Joyce Carol Oates seems to channel all of the things I was ever scared of between the ages of 12 14, humanize them, and make them strangely pitiful and believable and still terrible The fact that this book is set in a very nostalgic landscape for me makes this book all theterrifying and poignant, even if it is a kind of mundane and melodramatic kind of terror I often feel that JCO writes for a very narrow and specific demographic that I m part of, but don t know the perimeters of She ex Joyce Carol Oates seems to channel all of the things I was ever scared of between the ages of 12 14, humanize them, and make them strangely pitiful and believable and still terrible The fact that this book is set in a very nostalgic landscape for me makes this book all theterrifying and poignant, even if it is a kind of mundane and melodramatic kind of terror I often feel that JCO writes for a very narrow and specific demographic that I m part of, but don t know the perimeters of She excels, I think, at creating a believable, if wholly fictional, internal narrative of a villian, without detracting from the evilness of his actions I have a love hate relationship with JCO She is a brilliant writer and I admire her Sometimes I am blown away by the intensity and chilling insight of her books and sometimes I find them unnecessarily cruel, mean and overly dramatic Now, don t get me wrong, she can write in any genre with skill It s amazing As a matter of fact, in one short story collection she wrote a brilliant and complete short story in one page She is an eccentric individual and her choices reflect that.The title of th I have a love hate relationship with JCO She is a brilliant writer and I admire her Sometimes I am blown away by the intensity and chilling insight of her books and sometimes I find them unnecessarily cruel, mean and overly dramatic Now, don t get me wrong, she can write in any genre with skill It s amazing As a matter of fact, in one short story collection she wrote a brilliant and complete short story in one page She is an eccentric individual and her choices reflect that.The title of this book grabbed me, of course, Putting the words rape and love story in the same title seems impossible to me.However, this very short book is packed with terror and panic and surprises and heartache and a demolishing critique of the justice system Strangely enough, it is also about love in a most surprising way.Well worth the read Joyce Carol Oates seems to have a phobia about the Fourth of July I just finished reading Black Water, another Independence Day disaster novella, only to be confronted with Rape a love story, that covers a gang rape in Niagara Falls, NY to round off the fireworks and alcohol consumption on the special day that celebrates American independence.Unlike Black Water, I didn t skip pages here, for Rape a love story, is a tight thriller, not only focussed on the victim s plight but also on the out Joyce Carol Oates seems to have a phobia about the Fourth of July I just finished reading Black Water, another Independence Day disaster novella, only to be confronted with Rape a love story, that covers a gang rape in Niagara Falls, NY to round off the fireworks and alcohol consumption on the special day that celebrates American independence.Unlike Black Water, I didn t skip pages here, for Rape a love story, is a tight thriller, not only focussed on the victim s plight but also on the outcome for her attackers when vigilante justice surfaces, a form of justice that seemseffective than the traditional courts, for offences such as rape are hard to prove without damaging the victims all over again.Teena Maguire, a 35 year old single mother and her 12 year old daughter, Berthie, are taking a short cut home after a Fourth of July party, when they are accosted by a local gang of no gooders high on crack Teena is dragged away to a neighboring boathouse, gang raped, and left for dead, while her daughter hides in the vicinity The damage to Teena is horrible physical, mental and societal She struggles to emerge from life support, is left with permanently damaged vision and other private body parts, breaks up with her boyfriend as she can t stand being touched any, and self medicates with alcohol, dreading having to appear as a witness at the upcoming court trial.The subsequent rape trial turns out to be a fiasco, where the defence attorney is able to wield the full force of American Justice and turn the tables around with a countercharge that Teena solicited the no gooders for sex in exchange for money and then went crazy on them, leading to the violence by the men in self defence Public opinion sways from support for the attacked to the attackers Berthie is ostracized at school as the daughter of that tramp We are also introduced to Dromoor, an ex soldier turned cop on the Niagara Falls Police Department, a family man with two small daughters, who is attracted to Teena, but knows he can never go beyond sharing a drink with her Dromoor served in the Gulf War where he killed many enemy fighters, before becoming a cop he also killed a bad guy while he was a rookie on the NFPD, saving the life of a colleague he is no stranger to death, and to killing When he answers the rape call at the boathouse, he finds the damaged woman and her daughter, and decides he has to protect them And so, one by one, the rapists start dying or disappearing.Oates skillfully delivers the narration in third and second person and simulates the voices of the many characters victims and perpetrators alike according to their educational and social levels She focuses on the ugliness of rumour, the vindictiveness and meanness of small town society, and the perversions of justice that a democratic society provides for She also takes the long view, by transporting us many years into the future to show us how the lives of the affected are transformed by this seminal incident, for the effects of rape are indeed life long.The subject of rape is a difficult one to handle, and having it as the book s title, and then subtitling it a love story leaves many questions in the reader s mind Is this irony, a joke, or deathly intentional What I took from the novella was that while rape is not an expression of love in its act, it does bring out the expression of love from others, love that the victim never knew existed A gripping read indeed This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Reading this book was a bizarre experience for me, affected primarily by the summary on the dustjacket that offered its own, rather narrow interpretation of a story that should be left open to broad speculation Oates s writing is fluid and her selection of details is as mundane and powerful as a C zanne platter of fruit Her decision to describe different scenes from different characters perspectives also contributed well to the story The rape scene and the ensuing trial are deftly portrayed Reading this book was a bizarre experience for me, affected primarily by the summary on the dustjacket that offered its own, rather narrow interpretation of a story that should be left open to broad speculation Oates s writing is fluid and her selection of details is as mundane and powerful as a C zanne platter of fruit Her decision to describe different scenes from different characters perspectives also contributed well to the story The rape scene and the ensuing trial are deftly portrayed as horrific, harrowing events no person deserves to endure I felt my hands tense with rage as the perpetrators were protected by the inane bureaucracy of the law and the victim s reputation was publicly attacked almost as brutally as her own body As I turned the pages, I needed to put that rage somewhere However, the stealthy, vigilante approach to justice acted out by the newcomer cop was not the outlet I had been craving His execution of each of the young men, one by one, escalating from unpremeditated murder to a brutal slaughter was almost as harrowing as the rape scene The dustjacket declared him the victims champion a man who understands justice And love That left me with an utterly sickly feeling and I can t help but hope that was not Oates s intended interpretation, though the fact that the victim can move on to a happy, well deserved ending once the last murder has taken place is disturbingly supportive of the idea The rape victim may have taken off on a romantic road trip with her newfound love, but I m still stuck in the desert where justice is nowhere to be found 4 I say CASTRATE the Rapists StarsThis is the story of a mother and daughter who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and encounter the wrong most vile persons The story of what that woman becomes after being Raped, people just talk about her or recall her of think of her about after the incident , the before no longer existsSuspects, they were called As if they hadn t done what they d done to you and your mother but were only suspected of doing itWhat was most disturbing w 4 I say CASTRATE the Rapists StarsThis is the story of a mother and daughter who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and encounter the wrong most vile persons The story of what that woman becomes after being Raped, people just talk about her or recall her of think of her about after the incident , the before no longer existsSuspects, they were called As if they hadn t done what they d done to you and your mother but were only suspected of doing itWhat was most disturbing was the daughter s part was narrated in second person Imagine you are a young daughter and you witness the rape of your mother The frustration, the stare of people, the nagging of friends, the dirty notes stuck on the door And what about the townspeople, whose side do they take Why do people always side with the wrong party, just because they are men Yes she might ve smiled at them, and so she was asking for itAnd what about the lawyer Is it only about money, a woman s body dignity sanity her tattered soul What Their dad was the one taking this hardest He was sure looking sorry Their mom was an excitable loyal mom who refused to believe any of this could be serious, that felony crap the prosecutors were threatening Her word against theirs their mom said And that woman a drunk and a whore Rapists family reaction `Free Kindle ↯ Rape ⇧ Rape A Love Story begins with what is almost unspeakable It tells of the brutality and cowardice that overtakes the city of Niagara Falls in the aftermath of an attack on a woman and her young daughter A diamond hard dissection of modern s, it is also the tale of Teena and Bethie s silent champion a man who knows the meaning of justice And love Moonraker it is also the tale of Teena and Bethie s silent champion a man who knows the meaning of justice And love