In 2003 Nikki Gemmell created waves when, writing under the tag ‘Anonymous’, The Bride Stripped Bare became a literary sensation, with its raw and unflinching depiction of female sexuality. She called it ‘a very honest take on sex, from a woman’s perspective’, and it went on to top bestseller lists around the world.
Now, eight years later, Nikki returns with another tour de force, articulating thoughts and feelings that most people simply cannot put into words. Told in her distinctively lyrical style, With My Body addresses the questions of what is intimacy and whether it is ever truly possible to know another person. It is at once a manifesto of married mothers everywhere and a highly personal story of one woman’s sexual awakening.
A wife, comfortably married and with several children, is contemplating middle age along with all the constraints of motherhood. Finding herself numb and locked down in an unending cycle of school runs, laundry and meal times, she cannot at first see a way to live with honesty. Even her husband, whom she loves, has never reached the core of her. Despairing of ever finding a way through her family to her own identity, she returns to the memory of an old love affair – the consequences of which she has never resolved.
This is beautiful, literary writing at its best – exquisitely raw, emotional and bold, and deeply resonant of the classic French erotic writings of Colette, Nin and Duras, but with a modern and provocative twist.
I was sent this book by the publisher to review. At first sight I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the writing style, the way it was broken up into ‘lessons’, or that I would like the whole story being in second person. WOW! Nikki Gemmell really can pull this off. Her writing is so lyrical, just stunning. Her words are raw, powerful, and captivatingly beautiful. I was addicted by page 2. Had it not been for my kids needing me I would have devoured all 462 pages in one sitting. I have never read that many pages so fast.
This book really took me by surprise. At many times I felt like Nikki was picking my brain, putting my thoughts and feelings into words that I have never been able to articulate. I had so many “AHA” moments. What woman doesn’t feel like she is pulled to exhaustion in every aspect of life. She is stuck in the everyday treacheries of life.
Nikki is not afraid to touch on very sensitive, intimate aspects of a relationship. This book is “soaked in love”! It touches on many different kinds of love. Fatherly love, True romantic love, selfish love, (if there is such a thing) loveless love, and the list goes on. She is able to articulate feelings that I always knew I had but could never explain, let alone express to another person.
The middle of the book did get a bit tedious, maybe a bit to much on the sexual end of things. I really wanted the main character to go back and find the gate open no matter how wrong it was.
I would only recommend this book to 18+, if you are easily offended this is not your read!
This book gives me hope! I love how she found her voice and ultimately by doing that she learned to love and be loved again. After reading this I had to buy Nikki’s first novel called A Bride Stripped Bare. I can’t wait to read it!