Tuesday, 27 April 2010

'Taming the Beast' by Emily Maguire

I thought this book was going to simply and clearly explore the topic of teachers taking sexual advantage of children, and how this can affect children/young teenagers later in life. So it interested me. However, I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it did address these issues, but in a way that I really found very distasteful. After rampant sex and declarations of love, Mr Carr, the English teacher, goes abroad with his wife, and abandons the 14 year old school girl, Sarah Clark. Sarah was a very intelligent girl and they had lots of discussions about English literature together. This bit of the book was good, and there even some interesting quotes in it from English Literature But this was no way to treat a young, vulnerable girl, even though she claimed that she knew what she was doing. When he leaves her she becomes a nymphomaniac, having sex with anyone and everyone; she becomes completely obsessed by it all. She also smokes pot, and lives a hedonistic life in general (although does also continue with her studying). Finally, he returns having divorced his wife, and they get together again. But their love is always on the verge of destroying them, especially when the abusing, violent side starts to take a hold, and they draw blood from each other. There are some very positive reviews of the book on amazon, and on the front cover there is a quote from Matt Thorne, of the Independent saying that it was 'The best novel I've read all year.' It is well-written, it has to be said, and it kept me engaged to the end, but I also thought it really was a very sickening book and I wasn't sure whether I really wanted to continue reading it (even though I did). It is not a book I would recommend, but I decided to blog it - don't always have to be writing good reviews!

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