Published: 2013 by Faber & Faber Ltd
Read: August 2013
Trivia Tidbit: Alissa Nutting is the author of the award-winning short story collection Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls. This is her first novel.
Full Disclosure: Advance Reading Copy from the publisher via Netgalley
Celeste Price is a sexual predator. Her prey of choice is fourteen-year-old boys. Her husband is handsome, rich and devoted to her. She finds him repulsive. Celeste Price is a high school teacher in Tampa, Florida.
The story is written in the first person, allowing the reader full access to the devious, desirous, meticulously-considered plans of a woman whose solitary purpose is to locate, groom and defile fourteen-year-old boys to feed her overwhelming sexual desires. Celeste is aware of the taboo nature of her proclivities and goes to great lengths to avoid detection, but in the manner of a true sociopath she disregards the feelings and rights of others in order to achieve what she believes she is entitled to.
The descriptions of Celeste's fantasy and actual sexual encounters are detailed, brazen and unflinching. While her actions are horrific, the narcissistic narrator ignores the illegal and immoral nature of her desires and it is the responsibility of the reader to remember that this is a sexual predator whose desires are uncontrolled and unacceptable. The author has created a brilliantly awful protagonist and a debut novel which will spark debate on censorship, sensationalism and sexual predators.