FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
“Now I Know It’s Not My Fault is a thoroughly absorbing and cautionary tale that reminds us of the vulnerability of our children, the power of those in positions of authority, and the complex nature of abuse. It’s an important read for teens, parents, and mental health professionals.”
–Lauren Meisels, PhD
“Dr. Levine has written a poignant, heartfelt, and sometimes funny story. It’s the telling of a young woman’s journey through a common type of abuse that is rarely recognized and addressed. This book will help therapists and clients. Parents and victims will learn to understand why they are not alone in their struggle.”
–Dr. Joan D. Atwood, Professor & author, Marriage and Family Therapy
When Laurie B. Levine heard that a teacher in her hometown of Maplewood had been charged with sexual misconduct with several male students, her first reaction was to make sure her teenage son, who was in the class, was okay. Levine, a family therapist, was also encouraged to revisit the novel she had started years before, about a trauma bond between a student and female teacher.
Levine’s debut young adult novel NOW I KNOW IT’S NOT MY FAULT is the story of a teenager who finds herself in a traumatic relationship with her charming teacher in the 1980’s. Alexandra Geller is a bright but underachieving girl with a mother who has been dead for five years, and a father who is emotionally unavailable as he throws himself into his career as a physician. At the beginning of freshman year, Alex’s science teacher Paula senses Alex’s vulnerability and befriends her, leading Alex to believe that she was chosen by Paula to be in a “mother-daughter” type of relationship.
Paula’s intentions aren’t so benevolent, and she slowly and carefully grooms Alex for a relationship designed to fit her own needs. She starts telling Alex about her sex life and issues with her live-in boyfriend; blaming her for little things like being late; and asking Alex questions about her friends and family that she later uses as ammo against her. As their relationship continues, Paula begins to physically abuse Alex in ways she deems as motherly, such as slapping her across the face or spanking her in front of students. Desperate for maternal attention, Alex finds ways to ignore that something is wrong with Paula. Meanwhile, her relationships with her best friend Amber and boyfriend Adam begin to crack because she can’t get Paula out of her head.
NOW I KNOW IT’S NOT MY FAULT is about teenagers facing the challenges of growing up in a complex world where sometimes, people will cross lines and boundaries, creating the potential for abuse. As an experienced marriage and family therapist, Levine is aware of how insidious these behaviors can be in relationships. Her portrayal of Paula and Alex’s friendship points out a scenario that is not always recognized for the problem that it is, with even longer-lasting effects.
Readers will enjoy Alex’s story in NOW I KNOW IT’S NOT MY FAULT as she stands up to abuser, in spite of their damaging relationship that takes place through her entire high school career. They will also learn more about how these inappropriate student-teacher trauma bonds can be formed, and what to do about it.
About the Author:
Laurie B. Levine has a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University, and is a Clinical Fellow in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She has been in private practice, helping people understand their trauma stories, for more than twenty years. She lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband, three children, and a massive dog.
NOW I KNOW IT’S NOT MY FAULT
By Dr. Laurie B. Levine
Publication Date: January 15th, 2017
Original Trade Paperback & E-book
Price: $14.99 / $9.99