Written when Cathy Coote was 19, Innocents is a taut, wickedly clever descent into the anatomy of an obsession, the debut of a precociously assured and provocative young literary voice.
Forcing someone vulnerable and naive into a sexual relationship to satisfy a twisted desire is perverted, even evil. But when the perpetrator is a 16-year-old schoolgirl, is she culpable? And if the victim is her 34-year-old teacher, shouldn't he have known better?
When the nameless young narrator of Innocents decides to seduce her teacher, she immediately realizes that the power of her sexuality is greater than she ever imagined. She leaves the aunt and uncle who are her guardians and moves in with her teacher; together, they quickly embark on a journey into their darkest desires.
Unforgettable, disturbing, and morally complex, Innocents permanently unsettles our notions of innocence, experience, and power, and suggests that we all are culpable.
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