Intrigued by the title, I picked up Rape: A Love Story on a whim. I've been wanting to read an Oates novel and decided I'd start with this one. For such a compelling title, the book was oddly and disappointingly shallow. I didn't dislike it, but it certainly didn't engage me as I expected. At only 154 pages, it is a short book. Even more so when you consider the topic - gang rape. This novella broaches the topic openly, and right in the beginning. Teena, an adult woman, and her young daughter, Bethie, take a short cut to get home on the evening of July 4. They are met by a wild group of young men and an attack ensues. Oates then walks readers through the resulting chain of events very quickly. There isn't much time spent on any one character and though readers will get to know those in the main setting a little more than superficially, there isn't enough development that one ever feels truly connected to any one of them.Not the worst book I've read, but certainly didn't stand up to its title at all!