Book Review: little scratch by Rebecca Watson

Title: little scratch

Author: Rebecca Watson

Genre: Literary Fiction

Number of Pages: 224

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes


 

   

TW: Sexual Assault & Self-Harm

      Persecuting rapists is infamously tricky. Once a police officer friend of my dad’s told me a story about a man who had violated the safe word with his girlfriend during sex. The next day, the same day she had accused him of raping her, they had gone out together and she had bought him McDonald’s. The cop I was talking to said he believed that the woman had been raped but it would be impossible to prove. Even the fact that she had bought her boyfriend a meal like everything was normal the day after it happened would work against her in court.

 

 

 

    little scratch is the stream-of-consciousness account of a woman who gets raped by her boss at a party and then goes back to work the next day like nothing happened. She wants to tell her boyfriend but something keeps stopping her from doing so. She’s scared of pity or even that she isn’t playing the ‘part’ of the victim well enough.

 

     

      Is what happened rape rape? Could she have stopped it? While she’s having this war with herself she’s picking at her skin and making little excisions in different spots all over her body. Not a pleasant read, for sure, but little scratch is very well-written and exposes a side of sexual assault that’s rarely written or talked about.

 

 

     The prose feels almost like poetry (or maybe it’s poetry that almost feels like prose, I don’t know) and follows the unnamed protagonist through the minutiae of her day. I feel like it might have been something I should have read in print instead of on Kindle (the format was confusing, with two different narratives running- and sometimes overlapping- down both sides of the page) but I’m glad I read it. Thankfully I’ve never been the victim of sexual violence but this helped me to consider what happens to women in certain situations and how hard it can be for them to speak out in a society where such acts are maddingly commonplace. 

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