Give as a Gift

Send this book as a Gift!

Book Rating (169)

Narrator Rating (47)

My Dark Vanessa: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Kate Elizabeth Russell

Narrated By: Grace Gummer

Date: March 2020

Duration: 16 hours 3 minutes



“Brilliant and stunning . . . an absolute must read.” – GILLIAN FLYNN

“A well-constructed package of dynamite.” – STEPHEN KING

A most anticipated book by The New York Times • USA Today • Entertainment Weekly • Marie Claire • Elle • Harper's Bazaar • Bustle • Newsweek • New York Post • Esquire •  Real Simple • The Sunday Times • The Guardian 



Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

Includes a bonus conversation with Kate Elizabeth Russell, Grace Gummer, and Jessica Williams (editor of My Dark Vanessa).

This audiobook includes an episode of the Book Club Girl Podcast, featuring an interview with Kate Elizabeth Russell about My Dark Vanessa.


  • Candace C.

    This was a very dark book. I identify with many of the feelings that I have overcome in my life. I felt the author enjoyed wallowing in the negativity instead of allowing the character to grow. At some point, in life or literature, you have to take responsibility, regardless of what happens ,and overcome. This author states she lived this character for years. Why? Why would you take years of your life to wallow in abuse without finding the way to redemption? Isn’t that what we all must find in our own way? Yes, life is hard ,but you chose to be a victim or an overcomer. If I’d known this was a book that dwells so much on victim hood I would not have allowed it in my life.

  • Nadine R.

    This book was very well written an the narrator does a great job bringing Vanessa to life. It is not an easy read/listen as the topic is tough but the author does a great job approaching the subject from different points of view. I highly recommend.

  • Olympia A.

    This book was well written. The author has the ability to blur the lines between seduction and predation. There were intense scenes as well as frustrating and infuriating moments but this book is quite relevant. I also thought it was but long but overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read.

  • Nakina S.

    I really enjoyed this book. The material is dark. The narrator did an amazing job bringing the character to life. When I read the reviews, many people complained about the narrator’s depressing voice. Honestly, if her voice was any different it would not have matched the tone of the book.

  • Anonymous

    The language is compelling and the voice of the main character is really strong... it sucks you into thinking like she does.

  • Anonymous

    Good story about some terrible things that really happen to ordinary people.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent listen. So sad there are people out there that actually do this to kids. Narrator did a great job and would definitely recommend this book

  • Sara Reopelle

    I loved this book. it had dark moments and was troubling to listen/read, but was so well done. The narration was so spot on and placed me in Vanessa's mind and made me hurt for her so much.

  • Emily Domingo

    Snoozapalooza. I really hate that I used a credit for this book.

  • Kelly L.

    Amazing book!

My Dark Vanessa: A Novel

by Kate Elizabeth Russell

has successfully been added to your shopping cart

My Dark Vanessa: A Novel, Kate Elizabeth Russell
My Dark Vanessa: A Novel, Kate Elizabeth Russell
This title is due for release on March 10, 2020.

Enter your email below to be notified as soon as it is available!

By clicking "Notify Me" you consent to receiving electronic marketing communications from You will be able to unsubscribe at any time.

Already a member? Log In to add this title to your wishlist.
My Dark Vanessa: A Novel, Kate Elizabeth Russell
This title is due for release on March 10, 2020
We'll send you an email as soon as it is available!

Already a member?
Log in to add this title in your wishlist
My Dark Vanessa: A Novel, Kate Elizabeth Russell
Please Log in and add this title to your wishlist.
My Dark Vanessa: A Novel, Kate Elizabeth Russell

We will send you an email as soon as this title is available.