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Rape: A Love Story (2003)

by Joyce Carol Oates

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7413331,126 (3.66)66
The victim of a Fourth of July gang rape, single mother Teena Maguire and her daughter become the target of harassment and violence on the part of the assailants after Teena identifies the perpetrators for the Niagara Falls Police Department.
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English (28)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
The first part of the title refers to a brutal assault on a working class woman in a park late one night. The second part refers to the woman's daughter (with her at the time of the attack) and her feelings of first love, specifically for the beat cop who ends up taking justice into his own hands.

I sometimes find Oates' extremes in length don't work - some of her novels are bloated and some of her shorter works feel like they could be a lot longer. Such is the case with this one. It's barely 150 pages, and I wanted more - more background, more fully fleshed out characters, and more story. What there was was intriguing, but for instance the mother's abrupt departure seemed out of character. And who was the guy she left with?

3.75 stars

NB: Content/trigger warnings abound, as you can probably imagine. ( )
1 vote katiekrug | May 2, 2024 |
“Rape: A Love Story,” by Joyce Carol Oates is a hard-hitting, emotionally packed novel. The story is told from several viewpoints, but mostly from the viewpoint of Teena Maguire, the rape victim, and her 12 year old daughter, Bethie, who was attacked and present during the rape of her mother.

The story is both sad and heartbreaking. The gory details are all included by Oates. If you are the squeamish type, this book might not be for you. The writing is excellent and the characters are well developed. The story pulls you in from page one as you pull for Teena to overcome the physical and emotional abuse suffered at the hands of her rapists.

My only quibble with the book is the ending. While I do like how justice was served in the end, the final ending did not seem realistic. Teena goes from being severely depressed one day and the next she takes off with a man she just met. That was out of character for the Teena the reader had come to know. Other than that, I highly recommend this book. ( )
  dwcofer | Nov 4, 2021 |
While this shouldn't be on the fiction shelf, it is. Oates has written a very real work, where a raped person is subjected not only to the after effects of the rape itself, but those of the public, the offenders and the court system.

The protagonist is a person, a human being, and a victim. Her child, witness to the rape, also plays a strong part.

To me, Oates has put the finger on a lot of what's rotten in most legal systems on this planet when it comes to how the victim is treated. And of how time passes, and what is thought of and done regarding a rape.

All in all: angry, angry and real. Should be compulsory reading for most people. ( )
  pivic | Mar 21, 2020 |
È un romanzo coinvolgente e disturbante, scritto con uno stile giornalistico, chirurgico, senza fronzoli, vittimismi e sentimentalismi e forse proprio per questo, visti i temi che tratta (lo stupro, ma anche il racconto mediatico dei crimini) così incisivo. Mi è piaciuto molto perché sì, in fondo è davvero una storia d'amore, e perché neanche una virgola è fuori posto. ( )
  lonelypepper | Feb 22, 2018 |
Scuzzy topic, but JCO's skills are mind-blowing. This is considered a novella. She manages to enable us to fill in all the blanks, by offering us just enough precise detail. Almost poetry. ( )
  c_why | May 6, 2017 |
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Sen jälkeen kun hänet oli raiskattu, jätetty hakattuna ja potkittuna kuolemaan saastaisen venevajan lattialle Rocky Point Parkiin.
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The victim of a Fourth of July gang rape, single mother Teena Maguire and her daughter become the target of harassment and violence on the part of the assailants after Teena identifies the perpetrators for the Niagara Falls Police Department.

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A moving story about a gang rape and the effects it has on its victims, a mother & daughter, and the various lives surroundings them.
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