Title: Consent

Author: Vanessa Springora

Pages: 216 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

The devastating and powerful memoir from a French publisher who was abused by a famous writer from the age of thirteen

‘A gut-punch of a memoir with prose that cuts like a knife’ Kate Elizabeth Russell, author of My Dark Vanessa

Thirty years ago, Vanessa Springora was the teenage muse of one of France’s most celebrated writers, a footnote in the narrative of an influential man. At the end of 2019, as women around the world began to speak out, Springora, now in her forties and the director of one of France’s leading publishing houses, decided to reclaim her own story.

Consent is the story of her stolen adolescence. Devastating in its honesty, Springora’s painstaking memoir lays bare the cultural attitudes and circumstances that made it possible for a thirteen-year-old girl to become involved with a fifty-year-old man.

Drawing parallels between children’s fairy tales, French history and the author’s personal life, Consent offers intimate insights into the meaning of love and consent, the toll of trauma and the power of healing in women’s lives.

The Review

Consent by Vanessa Springora is a memoir about her time as a real-life Lolita. Springora describes her life and her relationship with a celebrated writer in France and how as she has grown up she has realised that their relationship was not one based on mutual affection but one that was manipulated by an older man taking advantage of a younger girl. She looks at the power dynamics and how her innocence was lost to this. Springora also looks at the changing attitudes of the time and how something that happened to her wouldn’t be seen as socially acceptable as it was perceived at the time (not completely accepted but far more so than in today’s society).

Consent is part memoir part social commentary about relationships, society and power. Equally, it is about claiming back your own existence and taking your power back. It is only a short book but it is a powerful one.

Consent by Vanessa Springora is available now.

For more information regarding Vanessa Springora (@VSpringora) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding 4th Estate (@4thEstateBooks) please visit www.4thestate.co.uk.

Title: Consent

Author: Annabel Lyon

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books

The Blurb

Saskia and Jenny – twins – are alike in appearance only. Saskia is a grad student with a single-minded focus on her studies, while Jenny is glamorous, thrill-seeking, and capricious. Still, when Jenny is severely injured in an accident, Saskia puts her life on hold to be with her sister.

Sara and Mattie are sisters with another difficult dynamic. Mattie, who is younger, is intellectually disabled. Sara loves nothing more than fine wines, perfumes, and expensive clothing, and leaves home at the first opportunity. But when their mother dies, Sara inherits the duty of caring for her sister. Arriving at the house one day, she is horrified to discover that Mattie has married their mother’s handyman. The relationship ends in tragedy.

Now, Sara and Saskia, both caregivers for so long, are on their own – and come together through a cascade of circumstances as devastating as they are unexpected. Razor-sharp and profoundly moving, Consent is a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of familial duty, of how love can become entangled with guilt, resentment, and regret.

The Review

I have to admit, I am a little perplexed by this book. Consent by Annabel Lyon has a dual narrative that takes place over various time periods. The two main characters seem disparate characters who are brought together at the end. The coincidence of their lives joining seems to be completely random with one small tenuous link. Their separate stories of having difficulties with their families seems to be the only thing that really ties them together.

I just didn’t enjoy this book.

Consent by Annabel Lyon is available now.

For more information regarding Atlantic Books (@AtlanticBooks) please visit www.atlantic-books.co.uk.