An explosive novel of sex, secrecy and escape by an anonymous writer. A woman disappears. Her car lies abandoned on a remote bluff; no body is found. She was the good wife, the good mother: mannerly, quiet, self-contained. But she has left behind an incendiary diary chronicling a disturbing journey of sexual awakening. As the diary opens on her honeymoon in Morocco, she believes herself to be happy -- or happy enough, anyway. Swiftly, this security masquerading as love fractures in an act of massive betrayal, only to propel her into a world of desire and fantasy and recklessness. What begins for her in the imagination ends in a tangle of sheets, in a drowning spiral of obsession and release. She finds an unlikely heroine to inspire her in a dusty, rare manuscript written by an anonymous woman in the 1600s, a cry from the heart for women to live and love freely. With this as guide, she dares to rupture convention, learning, for the first time, the intoxicating power of knowing what she wants and how to get it. The question is, how long can her soul sustain a perilous double life? Coolly impassioned, THE BRIDE STRIPPED BARE tells shocking truths about love and sex.
About the Author
The author has had two previous novels published to critical acclaim, with reviewers hailing the freshness and power of her writing. In the tradition of women over the centuries, she has decided to conceal her name in order to allow herself utter freedom in the writing of this novel.
Nikki Gemmell has been outed. Her deliciously sensuous account of a marriage, its intimacy and the forays outside that bond was to be published without reference to the author. The freedom of knowing that readers could not link the sexual exploits in the book to her own life has allowed her to create a novel with a confidence to its sexuality, like a naturalist swimming at a nudist beach. It is essentially a pillow book, like the Japanese classic by Sei Shonagon. Each tantalisingly short chapter is headed by a word of warning or an observation about a woman's life, work or love. There is a steadily increasing pace to the novel, which begins as a languid Ana´s Nin-like diary but steadily picks up the pace leaning towards the darkness of an Ian McEwan-esque tale of obsessive love. A British journalist-playing-detective revealed the author's identity. Knowing that Gemmell, author of Shiver, penned the tale adds to the delicious mystery. Is this a tad autobiographical? How do her friends and family feel about the book? With writing as sumptuous as this, and with the added spice of Gemmell exposed, this novel is bound for literary heights, then onward and upward into bookclub heaven. Krissy Kneen is a writer, filmmaker and bookseller. C. 2003 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
'Starkly explicit...richly descriptive with a fast-paced narrative' Sunday Telegraph 'Nikki Gemmel's prose has a wonderful sensuousness...witty...a subtle portrait of a modern and rather alienating marriage' Lisa Appignanesi, Independent Magazine 'Must read...A tale of sexual awakening for the dark horse in all of us' Tatler 'The sex is well-written...Gemmell is refreshingly straightforward about the act' Melanie McGrath, Evening Standard 'Easy to read, hard to put down. Keep an extinguisher handy' Closer 'A page-turner' Evening Standard 'A bored housewife embarks on a life of sexual pleasure...The sex is rude and raunchy and "exactly where you want it"' Elle 'Personal dilemmas are bravely explored; thoughts and fantasies about sex and infidelity, which most women have learned to keep to themselves, are laid bare on the page in all their shocking glory...brutal, brilliant and addictive' Glasgow Herald
An addictive account of honesty and desire. Couldn't wait to finish this book so I could get to work on time! Nikki is simply perfect when it comes to saying it how it is. Nothing is too bad, taboo or filthy for this novel, and it's such a refreshing change to read the truth. Nikki Gemmell rocks my world, what more can I say?
I really enjoyed The Bride Stripped Bare. It was a very empowered woman in the key role which is rare. It is also written in the second person which I found very interesting. All in all a very good read, read it in two sittings.
I have to rate this book in my top ten of all time, but not for the prude!! Any woman who is or has been married (and not your fairy tale happily ever after perfect marriage) will in some way connect with this novel. It awakens or strikes a chord with anyone in the "not so perfect marriage". That's not to say that we, the average woman would act as the lead character does, but maybe a small part of us would like to explore and take those risks. A must read for any woman with an open mind, a journey we all need to take, if only thorugh the pages of this book!! Read it now, and then read it again.
I am not a prude...or at least I didn't think I was until I read this tome.
I thought it was vulgar, and I cringed at some paragraphs. It was not sexy, or sensual, I just thought it was smutty and gross. It is one of the worst books I have ever read. Very confronting.
Such a raw an gritty account of how mariage can be. It feels like you are reading the truth that everyone is too afraid to talk about. Exploring issues such as her sexuality,mothrhood, pregnancy, marriage, fidelity and many other, most women can relate to story and the issues literally stripped bare in this book. A must have book for every woman who is thinking about marriage.
Confronting to say the least, this book lays bare the soul of it's central character. She is searching for passion - wanting to have experiences that make her feel the extremes of emotion. On this journey, she meets a man even less experienced than herself, and by teaching him she begins to awaken the passionate woman within. The emotional journey of this woman will keep you reading this book, even when some of the scenes seem too explicit.
If you are deep inside your first complete sexual experience, or want to remember how it felt way back when, The Bride Stripped Bare is a fun read.
For me the book seemed like a combination of a Pinter play and the Japanese film "Realm of the Senses."
Would definately recommend.
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