Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl: A Memoir

Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl: A Memoir Review

Jeannie Vanasco has had the same nightmare since she was a teenager. She startles awake, saying his name. It is always about him: one of her closest high school friends, a boy named Mark. A boy who raped her.

When her nightmares worsen, Jeannie decides—after fourteen years of silence—to reach out to Mark. He agrees to talk on the record and meet in person. "It's the least I can do," he says.

Jeannie details her friendship with Mark before and after the assault, asking the brave and urgent question: Is it possible for a good person to commit a terrible act? Jeannie interviews Mark, exploring how rape has impacted his life as well as her own. She examines the language surrounding sexual assault and pushes against its confines, contributing to and deepening the #MeToo discussion.

Exacting and courageous, Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl is part memoir, part true crime record, and part testament to the strength of female friendships—a recounting and reckoning that will inspire us to ask harder questions and interrogate our biases. Jeannie Vanasco examines and dismantles long-held myths of victimhood, discovering grace and power in this genre-bending investigation into the trauma of sexual violence.

Title:Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl: A Memoir
Edition Language:English

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    Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl: A Memoir Reviews

  • Laurie Anderson

    4.5 starsI got to review Jeannie Vanasco's memoir about confronting her rapist (who had been a close friend) fourteen years after he assaulted her. Thoughtful, provocative, and raw; you want to read t...

  • Sarah

    Oof. I suspected this would be great but it packs more of a punch than I even expected - Vanasco, a woman in her early 30s and teacher of memoir writing at a university, decides to get back in touch w...

  • Polly

    "I doubt I'm the only woman sexually assaulted by a friend and confused about her feelings."Wow. This is one powerful read.Heavy content warnings for rape and sexual assault.15 years ago, Jeannie Vana...

  • Tim

    I finished Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was A Girl, a memoir about sexual assault/rape where the author contacts and interviews her former "friend" who assaulted her 14 years prior. It's a power...

  • Sarah

    5 big huge giant stars for this memoir. I’ve not read anything like this before. I loved her style, transparency, honesty, and heartfelt true emotion in this. Transcribing conversations with her per...

  • Holly Tracy

    Update: I decided to change this to two stars from one. It deserves at least an additional star for the act of doing this at all, what it took emotionally to be able to write anything down, let alone ...

  • Eric

    Things We Didn't Talk about When I was a Girl by Jeannie Vanasco details her sexual assault victimization and the aftermath. The memoir is quite insightful and provides many interesting observations w...

  • Jessica Sullivan

    “I’m interested in writing about us, because I want to understand, I want to believe, that it’s possible to be a good person, a really good person, who makes a mistake.”Wow. Okay. This is the ...

  • Cookies_Comforts

    TW - rape and sexual assault. Due to the nature of this book, I don’t want to write anything negative about the subject matter. I feel, it was a different and unique way to write life events. The on...

  • Ruth

    Wowza. I've never read anything like "Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl" before. It's a fascinating look into the mind of a "nice guy" who rapes a friend, how that particular kind of betra...