My Dark Vanessa – Kate Elizabeth Russell


Vanessa Wye was fifteen-years-old when she first had sex with her English teacher.

She is now thirty-two and in the storm of allegations against powerful men in 2017, the teacher, Jacob Strane, has just been accused of sexual abuse by another former student.

Vanessa is horrified by this news, because she is quite certain that the relationship she had with Strane wasn’t abuse. It was love. She’s sure of that.

Forced to rethink her past, to revisit everything that happened, Vanessa has to redefine the great love story of her life – her great sexual awakening – as rape. Now she must deal with the possibility that she might be a victim, and just one of many.


This is a dark and compelling read about a relationship between a 15 year old and a teacher which is rife with triggers.

It is however, well written and very intense. It’s told from Vanessa’s pint of view; via journals, young her and adult her and it’s apparent throughout how the ‘relationship’ has affected her right to the core. It’s real, it’s raw, it’s haunting.

I did enjoy the beginning of the story more and felt it could probably have been shorter and avoid some repetition. Which is the reason I’m not giving a 5 star rating.

There is an important message here which is skilfully unsettling. It’s certainly not the type of book you ‘enjoy’ but it has certainly left a lasting impression. Not one I would ‘recommend’ due to the nature! I’m rating 4/5!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s