Taming the Beast by Emily Maguire

Saturday, January 18, 2014
Taming the Beast 

★★★★ 3.5 disturbingly fascinating stars!

Taming the Beast was a deeply disturbing, fascinating, haunting, sad, unforgettable and beautifully written story. From the moment I started reading it, I could not put it down. The author managed to both impress me and disgust me with certain scenes and descriptions and to say that I "enjoyed" reading this book does not sound quite right. What I would say though is that it made me think and it made me FEEL all the different emotions the main characters where going through, even though I couldn't exactly relate to them, and THAT in my opinion is always the telltale sign of a good book.

It's definitely a book that manages to leave an impression and that will stay with me for a very long time.

I will not go into to much detail about the storyline because that would ruin your reading experience. This story is basically about a bright, young girl who falls in love with the wrong person. From there on out her life pretty much takes a nosedive and she lands on a destructive path that may or may not become her downfall. I should warn you though that the story starts out with a fourteen year old girl Sarah who gets seduced by her thirty eight year old teacher, Mr. Daniel Carr, and ends up having an affair with him. Then, when his wife finds out, he leaves his teaching position and moves his family to another state. That's when Sarah's left feeling heartbroken because she'd actually fallen in love with Mr. Carr. Eight destructive years later, they meet again and realize that their passion for and obsession with each other only seems to have grown over the years.

If ever there were people completely and utterly obsessed with each other it would be Sarah and Daniel. They were constantly in a battle of wills. Apart, the two of them are still somewhat "normal", but together they're simply out of control. Some quotes to clarify my point: (view spoiler)

I actually felt sorry for Sarah and the way the men in her life used her. Her life was truly miserable even though I felt like she could have done something about it and changed it for the better. I want to applaud the author for making this feel like such a "light read" while the actual content was so utterly depressing. Although I felt uncomfortable and frustrated at times while reading this book, I loved the author's descriptive writing style and I think she did an amazing job at writing a highly unique debut novel. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of her work in the future!

"But then, life is a constant withering of possibilities. Some are stolen with the lives of people you love. Others are let go, with regret and reluctance and deep, deep sorrow. But there is compensation for lives unloved in the joy of knowing that the life you have - right here, right now - is the one you have chosen. There is power in that, and hope."


  1. It sounds like an incredibly challenging read and emotionally taxing Debra.
    Thos are the ones we never forget. Thanks for sharing.

    Wendy @ Fabulosity Reads

    1. That it certainly was… And you're absolutely right, those kinds of stories are the ones that will stay with you for a long time. It's not an easy book to read but definitely worth it in the end. Thank you!


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