Cathy Coote’s debut novel, Innocents, garnered some good press with its tale of a precocious 16 year old girl who pursues her 34 year old teacher.
My darling, the book begins, All of this is my fault. I know you think your to blame for what happened. You’re wrong, my love. I’ve been guilty all along.
Coote’s wrote this book when she was 19, so I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that this book hits close to home. That’s not to say that it wasn’t without its merits- but likable characters isn’t one of them.
The story’s narrator is never identified and the novel takes the form of a long letter to her lover – a letter which supposedly reveals all the ways in which she tricked him and bent him to her will, finally provoking an act which causes our ‘innocent’ narrator great distress.
Ultimately, it’s hard to believe that the man was so easily manipulated and that the girl was as devoid of genuine feeling as she claims to be.