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Review: Reputation by Sarah Vaughn

Title: Reputation
Author: Sarah Vaughn
Year published: 2022
Category: Adult fiction
Pages: 336 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)UK

SummaryAs a politician, Emma has sacrificed a great deal for her career—including her marriage and her relationship with her daughter, Flora.

The glare of the spotlight is unnerving for Emma, particularly when it leads to countless insults, threats, and trolling as she tries to work in the public eye. As a woman, she knows her reputation is worth its weight in gold but as a politician, she discovers it only takes one slip-up to destroy it completely.

Fourteen-year-old Flora is learning the same hard lessons at school as she encounters heartless bullying. When another teenager takes her own life, Emma lobbies for a new law to protect women and girls from the effects of online abuse. Now, Emma and Flora find their personal lives uncomfortably intersected…but then the unthinkable happens.

A man is found dead in Emma’s home. A man she had every reason to be afraid of and to want gone. Fighting to protect her reputation and determined to protect her family at all costs, Emma is pushed to the limits as the worst happens and her life is torn apart.

Review: I feel bad that I don't remember whose blog I saw this novel on to give them credit. I took a while to get into it (yeah, lots going on here for me to focus on other than reading), but enjoyed it once I got going this weekend.

It is easy for me to get pulled into Emma's world and to be on her side: a woman in her 40s who is trying to forge a political career, but meets with trolls, colleagues, and the opposition who are horrible to her. The fact that she is a woman is turned against her and she is sexualized and threatened at every turn. This is our nightmare.

But Emma doesn't make it easy to like her as the novel progresses. She is a bit shady, makes some major mistakes, and isn't a sympathetic character. But there is something to that as well. Is she that way because of the way she's treated? Am I falling for the trope that she shouldn't be liked? Good call, Vaughn.

The story is a bit slow in its set up, but once it gets going, especially the court room drama and all its reveals, it really picks up. And the twist at the end? Didn't see it coming!

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Alphabet (title)--R
  • Alphabet (author)--V
  • Literary Escapes--United Kingdom
  • Popsugar--Bought at an indie bookstore (Chaucer's)

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