“Powerful and compelling.” Kirkus Review


Sarah Clark's life is irrevocably changed at the age of 14 when her English teacher, Mr Carr, seduces her after class. Their affair is illegal, erotic, passionate and dangerous - a vicious meeting of minds and bodies. But when Mr Carr's wife discovers the affair, he has to choose between them and moves to another city with his family.

Sarah is devastated and from that day on her life is defined by a series of meaningless, self-abasing sexual encounters, hoping with each man that she will experience the same delicious feelings she had with Mr Carr.

Seven years later Daniel Carr walks back into Sarah's life and she is drawn once again into the destructive relationship. Is Sarah strong enough to "tame the beast"?


“The author confronts us with our prejudices about what are acceptable sexual boundaries, and questions who gets to decide them… Taming the Beast is a thought-provoking and often searing first novel.” The Age

“Sections of the book pulse with sexual energy…Maguire keeps the prose crackling and the dialogue lively from the first page to the last.” Publishers Weekly

“The Australian novelist eschews the obvious child abuse narrative for a more complex look at the nature of violence and sex in this emotional rollercoaster.” Glasgow Herald

Wuthering Heights ripples under the narrative. The words take on a life of their own and slither around the mind like Medusa’s snakes… By the end of Taming the Beast – through which I forgot to eat – I felt terrified, feverish and green at the gills. And utterly awed.” The Big Issue (UK)