By Alissa Nutting
Celeste Price is an eighth-grade English teacher in suburban Tampa. She’s undeniably attractive. She drives a red Corvette with tinted windows. Her husband, Ford, is rich, square-jawed, and devoted to her.
But Celeste’s devotion lies elsewhere. She has a singular sexual obsession—fourteen-year-old boys. Celeste pursues her craving with sociopathic meticulousness and forethought; her sole purpose in becoming a teacher is to fulfill her passion and provide her access to her compulsion. As the novel opens, fall semester at Jefferson Jr. High is beginning.
In mere weeks, Celeste has chosen and lured the lusciously naive Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his teacher, and, most important, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after school; rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works late; body-slamming encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom between periods.
Ever mindful of the danger—the perpetual risk of exposure, Jack’s father’s own attraction to her, and the ticking clock as Jack leaves innocent boyhood behind—the hyperbolically insatiable Celeste bypasses each hurdle with swift thinking and shameless determination, even when the solutions involve greater misdeeds than the affair itself. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress driven by pure motivation. She deceives everyone, and cares nothing for anyone or anything but her own pleasure.
With crackling, rampantly unadulterated prose, Tampa is a grand, uncompromising, seriocomic examination of want and a scorching literary debut.
Celeste Price is an eighth-grade teacher in Florida, who’s married to a police officer. Everyone thinks she’s extremely attractive and a wonderful teacher. She’s even been asked to mentor another less than mediocre teacher in her school. In truth, she’s a dangerous sexual predator who’s obsessed with 14-year-old boys. Everything she does revolves around her next encounter, and she daydreams—completely fixated on everything relating to sex with young boys.
I’m going to leave an informal review on this book and just say that it was one of the craziest books I’ve ever read. From the very first pages, the content is extremely disturbing. What’s even more bizarre is that I was compelled to finish this book and couldn’t put it down. The author takes you into the mind of this woman, and it’s deeply disturbing, twisted, perplexing, perverse, and just downright sick.
I’ve seen others state that this book was loosely based on a true story, but I’ve not been able to confirm it. To me this story is totally believable, but there were a few parts that seemed pretty contrived and convenient. What I wanted was good closure in the end with justice getting served, but what I got was a huge helping of injustice. The reader is left to wonder: will it ever end?
If I were to rate this book on the writing alone I’d easily give it five stars because it’s impeccable, but instead I’ll go with four because this was a story I didn’t necessarily enjoy. I’ll definitely read more from this author in the future.
- Publisher : Ecco; First Edition (July 2, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780062280541
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062280541
Thanks for reading my review! Have you read this book or any other psychological fiction recently? Feel free to leave your comments below.