Many of you are aware that I've struggled to find a good audio book, and only a few this year have been exceptional to me. Thankfully, those successes have convinced me that I need to continue to include audio as part of my book experience. Had I listened to A Fair Maiden, by Joyce Carol Oates as my initiation to it all, however, I probably would have waited even longer before picking up my next audio book.
Katya is sixteen-years-old and is a nanny to a wealthy family in New Jersey. While in the park with the children, she meets Marcus, a man in his sixties who seems harmless enough. She agrees to visit him in his stately mansion and becomes "friends" with him. Soon, though, the friendship she believes she's developed becomes something quite different, and altogether deeply disturbing.
It's not as though A Fair Maiden isn't interesting. It is. The characters were interesting. The storyline was interesting. The narrator was decent. But this story, for some reason, even with all of these elements combined into a dark and unsettling relationship with shocking moments, still wasn't memorable enough for me. There was a part of me that felt I had heard this story many times before, so I was struggling to find the uniqueness. Although I was engaged enough that I listened to the short six hours in one Sunday afternoon, and while I hoped for Katya to break away from the life she lives and the men she seems to always be around, I concluded the audio and didn't feel a significant emotion for it.
I will point out that while I'm not squeamish about most things in books, there were scenes in which I felt became even more disturbing simply because I was listening to it happen versus reading it. That, I found, was difficult.
So perhaps, in fact, it was memorable for me? I'm still up in the air on this one. Have you read it? This was my first time experiencing Joyce Carol Oates. I know she is a popular author, so I will certainly try her work again.
Coffee and a Book Chick