Let’s Talk About Rape

I buy about two e-books a day and try to finish at least three of those books a week. Lately, I’ve read a lot of books that have left me feeling unsettled–and that’s what I want to blog about today.


It seems rape is trending in the book world right now, in multiple genres, and I’m a bit perplexed by its popularity as a theme. I understand rape is a gut-wrenching, tragic, and intense subject matter, so incorporating rape as a thematic story element sometimes makes sense.

But must it be so gratuitous? Why have I read so many books lately where rape was written in such a way as to grip readers–to entertain them–rather than inform them?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against rape in books. Not at all. What I’m talking about here, is the WAY rape is written. The words. The presentation. The overall message readers take away from the story.

Obviously, there are many books where rape is handled beautifully and the story is incredible. And those books make me proud, both as a reader and a writer, because rape SHOULD be discussed and illuminated as a vile act.

But what about all the other books that seem to have saturated the market lately? The books where my stomach is still curling after the ‘happy ending’?

Is it just me? Perhaps. And if so, that’s okay.

But being a lifetime reader (and a longtime reader of gritty material, as well) I can’t help but tune into the unsettling feelings I’ve had lately when reading about rape and abuse, and I find this new personal sensitivity to its current presentation interesting.

What are your thoughts on the subject matter and how it is currently being handled in the world of literature?