Monday, 7 July 2014

Review: Taming the Beast- Emily Maguire

Synopsis:  Sarah Clark's life is irrevocably changed at the age of 14 when her English teacher, Mr Carr, seduces her after class. Their affair is illegal, erotic, passionate and dangerous – a vicious meeting of minds and bodies. But when Mr Carr's wife discovers the affair, he has to choose between them and moves to another city with his family.

Sarah is devastated and from that day on her life is defined by a series of meaningless, self-abasing sexual encounters, hoping with each man that she will experience the same delicious feelings she had with Mr Carr.

Seven years later Daniel Carr walks back into Sarah's life and she is drawn once again into the destructive relationship. Is Sarah strong enough to "tame the beast"?

Posted from Goodreads


I really don't know how to review this book, I even struggled to give it a rating. I will try and break my thoughts down into something coherent.
I have read several Teacher/Student novels before but none quite like this, I have read dark disturbing novels before but somehow this one left a really nasty taste in my mouth.
It wasn't that it was bad, I actually think it was well written but maybe that was the problem- it was too realistic. The main characters (Sarah & Mr Carr) are fundamentally utterly unlikable and as a result I didn't care much for their well being, which is just as well because they don't seem to care for theirs either. The novel starts when Sarah is 14 and she is introduced to her new English teacher Mr Carr. Sarah has a passion for English literature and so does Mr Carr. After their introduction things get icky really quickly. 

Their relationship from the start is destructive and abusive and the effect leaves Sarah permanently altered.When the two characters are reunited 7 years down the line,they rekindle their relationship. Sarah is more than happy to revert back into this violent and oppressive relationship with Mr Carr. 

This is not a romance, it is not erotic or passionate. But I believe Emily Maguire does not want you to think this, it is not the type of relationship you can condone. These two people are messed up, they are destructive to one another and everyone around them. In a way you could say they deserve one another.

So yeah, I cannot form a real opinion on this book. It makes you take a step back and really think about what you have just read, which I suppose is a good thing. But when trying to review it is a problem. 
It is a feat of a novel for the emotions and opinions it brings up however I did not really enjoy reading, mainly because it left me feeling really gross. It's raw and disturbing and not for everyone.

Rating: 4 stars. 
Just because it left me feeling really unsure of my thoughts, not many books do that. 

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