“A bold, new voice.” —People
“A nuanced addition to the #MeToo conversation.” —Vice
A young survivor tells her searing, visceral story of sexual assault, justice, and healing in this gutwrenching memoir.
The numbers are staggering: nearly one in five girls ages fourteen to seventeen have been the victim of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. This is the true story of one of those girls.
In 2014, Chessy Prout was a freshman at St. Paul’s School, a prestigious boarding school in New Hampshire, when a senior boy sexually assaulted her as part of a ritualized game of conquest. Chessy bravely reported her assault to the police and testified against her attacker in court. Then, in the face of unexpected backlash from her once-trusted school community, she shed her anonymity to help other survivors find their voice.
This memoir is more than an account of a horrific event. It takes a magnifying glass to the institutions that turn a blind eye to such behavior and a society that blames victims rather than perpetrators. Chessy’s story offers real, powerful solutions to upend rape culture as we know it today. Prepare to be inspired by this remarkable young woman and her story of survival, advocacy, and hope in the face of unspeakable trauma.
A young survivor of sexual assault poignantly recounts the trauma of her experience in the audio edition of her memoir. Prout was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted by a senior at her prep school, St. Paul's School and there are times in this heartfelt narration where her vulnerability is on full display. Her voice breaks when describing the rape and when she tells of the moment she first realized she could be a voice for survivors. Mostly, though, the now college-age Prout comes across as strong, capable, and rightly angry especially when telling of the many ways people affiliated with the school attempted to shame her into silence and rallied around her attacker by helping to fund his legal defense. Prout's performance is natural and unforced, alternating between the gentle tones she reserves to describe the support of various family members and the fierce, uncompromising pitch she adopts when detailing the abuse and its chilling aftermath. The audiobook offers some bonus content at the end: Prout's mother reads her own afterword of advice for victims and their families, and coauthor Abelson, a Boston Globe reporter, offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of the book's creation. This confident audio adaptation reflects both the strength and the fragility of its young author and narrator. Ages 14 up. A S&S/McElderry hardcover.
Empowering and eye-opening
This book is so incredibly important. It is empowering and comforting for fellow survivors, and informative for both survivors and supporters alike. I wish I’d had this to read when I was in high school. Perhaps then I’d have not only been able to properly seek resources after my own assault in college, but maybe it also wouldn’t have taken me two years to even realize that my encounter was in fact an assault, and then subsequently report it. I am inspired and empowered by Chessy’s story, and have since found catharsis in writing about my own assaults.
Thank you, Chessy Prout. You are going to change the world, and I am honored to be part of your generation.
As a former student of St. Paul’s, I can confidently say that this book is a wild misrepresentation of the school, the faculty and the students. It is unfortunate that Chessy felt the need to grossly mischaracterize the school at so many students enjoyed some of the best years of their lives.