April 30

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

I wasn’t going to review this book. I’m a busy reader with a highbrow rep to protect and it just didn’t seem worthy to me. That said, when I hear that so many people are reading and talking about it, I couldn’t resist throwing my 2 cents in. Apparently, it’s even on the NSW Bar’s Bar Book Club reading list this month.

The reason people are talking about Anatomy of a Scandal is because its themes are everywhere and the conversation is irresistible. It just takes three hashtags to sum it up –  #metoo #whitemalepriviledge #bestseller

The story involves a successful female criminal barrister (Kate Woodcroft) who lands the career-defining brief to prosecute one of London’s most charismatic, well-respected and well-connected male politicians for rape.

The accused is a white Bill Cosby, in the sense of appearing to be the person least likely to commit such an offence, so it is left to Woodcroft to remove his metaphorical Christmas sweater and expose his history of sexual abuse and deep-seated male-entitlement.

Woodcroft is conflicted in a number of farcical but still compelling ways. She charges ahead carrying the full weight of responsibility of every silent victim of white male privilege on her petite but strong shoulders.

Another dimension to this “courtroom drama” is created through the accused’s wife, who is desperately trying to keep her marriage and A-Lister reputation in tact by seemingly ignoring the truths she knows too well.

Anatomy of a Scandal is written by UK based Sarah Vaughan, a former Guardian journalist, news reporter and political correspondent. This is her third novel and according to her website, she is working on another one along a similar line, to be released in 2019. #whenyouareontoagoodthing

So, with all the contemporary conversation boxes ticked, does it matter that the writing is cliched, awkward and repetitive?

#tbh to me, yes it does, but to many others it clearly doesn’t. The book is selling like hotcakes and even I can admit that it makes good sense as an easy holiday read or to kick-start book club banter. I also support seeing the #metoo conversation kept up in as many forums as possible.

I wish I could offer more but that is just my 2 cents worth.