Rape, A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates - review by Lewis DeSoto

Lewis DeSoto

A Community’s Crime

Rape, A Love Story

By

Atlantic Books 154pp £9.99 order from our bookshop
 

Women are afraid of men. Not all of them, all of the time, but they know that men are capable of mixing sex and violence. Men sometimes do what women seldom, if ever do – commit rape.

‘After she was gang-raped, kicked and beaten and left to die on the floor of the filthy boathouse’ are the disturbing words that begin Joyce Carol Oates's novella, Rape, A Love Story. In the fragmentary chapters that follow, told from shifting perspectives and points of view, Oates gives us the horrifically brutal act and the devastating effects it has on the lives of a woman and a twelve-year-old girl. 

On their way home late at night, Teena Maguire and her daughter Bethel are attacked by a pack of young men, who viciously beat them. Dragged into a deserted boathouse, the battered girl manages to escape violation by hiding, but must endure the horror of hearing her mother being repeatedly

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