Age of Consent

Marti Leimbach

She suddenly remembered a film he’d had her watch with Marlon Brando and a young, bewildered actress. In it, Brando’s character had hit the girl with the heel of a shoe while she was naked in a bath. I wouldn’t do that to you, Craig had said as she gazed wretchedly at the film. He was making a point about his gentleness. I wouldn’t rap your skull with a shoe. Years later, she would remember Last Tango In Paris all over again, but for different reasons. She would wonder what had been wrong in the 1970’s that such film could have existed, with Maria Schneider being only nineteen in real life. With Brando being in his late forties. Why did the public not protest such a thing? It had been a terrible time, the 70s. At least a terrible time for girls like her.

Reviews of Age of Consent

  • ‘An account of estrangement between mother and daughter and the toll abuse can take on a family … woven with pain and fractured relationships … The story will keep readers turning pages until the bitter end … Fans of Jodi Picoult may enjoy’ Library Journal

    ‘A nuanced portrayal of a mother and daughter at once linked and divided by a ferociously exploitative man … The novel brings memorable depth to issues often oversimplified’ Publishers Weekly

    ‘Leimbach is known for tackling tough subjects in an unflinching manner, and this novel is no exception … The descriptions of abuse don’t come across as gratuitous or overdone … Readers who enjoy issue-driven women’s fiction—and who can handle the dark subject matter—will be moved by Bobbie’s story’ Booklist

    ‘A gripping if uncomfortable novel’ Mail on Sunday

    ‘An unflinching look at sexual abuse from an author who isn’t afraid of difficult subjects … Leimbach offers a horribly believable depiction of a child ensnared by a predator. In giving a voice to Bobbie’s mother as well as Bobbie, she foregoes the urge to simply blame a woman who failed to protect her daughter … Devastatingly powerful’ Kirkus Reviews

    ‘What makes Marti Leimbach’s new novel so chilling is not only its tale of predator and prey, but the story of the mother and daughter, entangled in its web. It is so terrifying to see a mother in denial, a daughter who can’t and won’t forget. As Leimbach weaves her story, moving between past and present, this thrilling novel forces us to ask to whom do we owe our loyalties – to those we love, or to ourselves’ Mary Morris

    ‘Three people: a young girl, her mother, and the man who has seduced them both. Leimbach explores the ambiguities of loss, love, and desire, and plumbs the dark places where they meet. At the center of the story is an illicit, illegal affair, the consequences of which never really stop reverberating. Age of Consent is spellbinding’ Whitney Otto