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Taming the Beast (P.S.)by Emily Maguire
Synopses & Reviews
At the tender age of fourteen, Sarah Clark is seduced by her thirty-eight-year-old English teacher, Daniel Carr, and becomes entangled in an illegal, erotic, passionate, and dangerous affair—a vicious meeting of minds and bodies that ends badly. Devastated by grief and longing, Sarah embarks upon a series of meaningless self-abasing sexual encounters, hoping to reclaim the intensity of that first relationship. Then, seven years later, Carr unexpectedly returns and Sarah is drawn again into a destructive coupling. Now that she is no longer an innocent young girl, is she strong enough to finally tame the beast within her?
A modern Lolita, Taming the Beast is an emotionally unflinching and alluring tale that introduces a powerful new writer.
"Shortly after 14-year-old Sarah Clark meets Daniel Carr, her 38-year-old English teacher, in Australian Maguire's debut, boundaries are eliminated and academics take a back seat to a different kind of education. Their increasingly sadistic trysts end when Daniel takes a job in Brisbane, leaving emotionally hobbled and sexually insatiable Sarah to search for Daniel's replacement. And search she does, bedding, by her estimate, hundreds of men before trying her hand at a relationship with childhood friend Jamie. But when Daniel reappears years later, Sarah is as helpless as a child and encourages him to indulge in all of his violent fantasies. Sections of the book pulse with sexual energy, though Maguire turns ethereally cerebral during moments of animal carnality ('In the expression of physicality, in the tearing of flesh and the intermingling of fluids, there is honesty'). Though some readers may have trouble reading passages involving sexual violence, Maguire keeps the prose crackling and the dialogue lively ('[Y]ou look like the six week old corpse of a crack addict who died from syphilis') from the first page to the last. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A thought-provoking and often searing first novel." The Age (Australia)
"Emily Maguire embodies the great romantic myth of the writer who emerges from nowhere, fully formed." Sydney Morning Herald
"Powerful and compelling." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Emily Maguire divides her time among teaching English, writing nonfiction pieces, and working on her next novel. She is the recipient of a 2003 Australian Society of Authors Mentorship, and she lives in Sydney.
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