Friday, September 02, 2011

Taking Advantage

Without intending to, I have recently read four novels where teachers or bosses have had a "consensual" sexual relationship with a teenage girl. The stories go beyond the specific relationship to illuminate the fraught relationships among friends, families, and entire communities. All four books are cleverly constructed and very well written.

The Adults by Alison Espach
Covert affair, while inappropriate, not to say illegal, seems to be mutual, but Emily is 15 and the English teacher is 25. This secret life reinforces Emily's separation from the adults who most disappoint her.

Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
A single mother and her teenage daughter, Amy, live an isolated life in New England until the intrusion into the life of Amy by her math teacher.

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
One of the three storylines in this identity thriller concerns Lucy Lattimore who runs off after her high school graduation with her history teacher.

The Good Parents by Joan London
Maya has moved from Western Australia to Melbourne where she finds a job in an office, and before she knows what is happening she begins an affair with her much older boss. When her parents travel to Melobourne to visit, she has disapperared.

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