Book review: His Favorites — by Kate Walbert

(Scribner Book Company)
Jo is very much like any other teenage girl, spending her summer with friends, laying out to get tan, consuming alcohol even though she is a minor, and behaving recklessly at times. What sets her apart is the consequences of one reckless evening and how those consequences set her up as a vulnerable person, someone a predator would recognize as easy prey. The author does not back away from tackling difficult subjects. You will, as you read this book, experience what one young woman experienced as she was subjected to sexual assaults from a man in power. She struggles with whether or not to report the incidents, and the push back she receives when she does report. The perpetrator, and those around him, take away her power, negate her truth. It’s not an easy book to read, but it is compelling, and it is chilling, and it is authentic. The main character is brought to vivid life, complete with human frailties and failings, allowing the reader a chance to walk in another’s shoes. This slim novel by Kate Walbert, author of “A Short History of Women” and “The Gardens of Kyoto,” is perceptive, intelligent, timely and necessary.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
8 more books to read
Edinburgh, by Alexander Chee
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay
Things We Haven’t Said, by Erin Moulton
The Telling, by Zoe Zolbrod
The Real Lolita, by Sarah Weinman
Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Girl in Pieces, by Kathleen Glasgow

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