By Maggie Turkovich
Maria Padian’s novel “Wrecked” is a tale about a campus rape that is sure to impact college students for years to come, although it should be read by people of all ages.
The story is not told from the viewpoint of the victim or the accused. This sheds a light on how rape affects a community, not just the rapist and victim; it changes the lives of their friends, family and the dynamics of the college they attend.
Padian’s dialogue feels as natural as the ways in which she intertwines the characters, which is often unexpected. The manner in which she reveals the true story of what happened that fateful night is set up almost as a mystery, keeping the reader fully engaged as well, making it a quick read.
The author depicts the inner workings of a college’s investigation of rape claims and the procedures behind it, a subject rarely discussed. She also highlights the policy of “Yes Means Yes” and how saying “no” is not the only way to say “no” or show a lack of consent.
Padian effortlessly paints a vivid and realistic image of what rape and surviving it is really like and all the various ways it can change a person. She guides the reader through a thought-provoking journey, paving the way for discussion.
Hard questions are asked and uncomfortable matters are discussed, but that is why this book is important, and why it has such resonance.