So as of right now, I'm hip deep (literally) in snow-mageddon right now so I've gotten a lot of reading done. Seriously though, the snow? It can stop. I understand I live in northern Wisconsin and this is kind of the thing here but sheeeit. It can stop. I'm over it. A ski hill has closed because of too much snow. Just re-read that sentence and you'll understand my plight. Anyways.
The Bride Stripped Bare - Nikki Gemmell
A woman disappears, leaving behind an incendiary diary chronicling a journey of sexual awakening. To all who knew her, she was the good wife: happy, devoted, content. But the diary reveals a secret self, one who’s discovered that her new marriage contains mysteries of its own. She has discovered a forgotten Elizabethan manuscript that dares to speak of what women truly desire, and inspired by its revelations, she tastes for the first time the intoxicating power of knowing what she wants and how to get it. The question is: How long can she sustain a perilous double life?
So, I get to review this one as a preview to her new book which is coming soon. Which is really great because WOW. First off, there aren't chapters- this book is comprised of "lessons". It's essentially a diary of her life as a newlywed. She marries for reliability, essentially, instead of passion. But what happens is she realizes that there is more to life than this and begins a dangerous journey into leading a whole other life.
But here's the thing: I'm torn. First off, the narrative is really great. It's second person narrative, it's written really well and you really do feel like you are reading someone's dirty diary. So that's good. But while I wanted to like our main character- I can't. And guys, I tried. I tried really hard. I totally get her complaints with her husband- a lot of us married a guy we knew maybe wasn't everything we wanted and didn't sweep us off our feet, but they were steady and reliable. You just figured with time it would be fine and shit- nobody gets swept off her feet forever. Lust fades, right? Yes, yes it does. But what kills me is that she's kind of filthy. I was plugging along alright until I get to a scene that involves pretty much an orgy with dirty cab drivers. Now, I don't want to go into it, but I pictured the cab drivers I've experienced and it's foul. I've never met a clean, decent smelling cab driver. Never, ever. So I'm picturing that times a bunch and ew. Just ew all around- could not even enjoy the erotica portion of it because I'm picturing fat, dirty, smelly cab drivers.
That's the other thing- it's not really erotica? I mean, I see the parts where it's supposed to go there but it just doesn't go all the way (snicker). At the end of the day, it's a book about a woman who just cheats on her husband a lot, but doesn't really want to and that doesn't make sense, and you're left at the end wondering what in the hell you just read.
And yes- I said "wow" at the beginning of this review because it can only go up from here, right? This is the first book, so I feel like with time and practice- the other two I'm reviewing just have to be better. But. I wouldn't discredit this book outright. If you are a fan of a literary journey, which is what this really feels like, and second person narrative? Win. Win all day, up and down, you will like it. For that reason alone, I'd give it 2/5 stars. I want to give it more but the fact I wanted to punch the lead character for most of the book.....can't. I just can't give it more.