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 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. These are the kind of revelations that best friends whisper to each other and then decide to forget they ever revealed. Couched in a deceptively simple style, its gorgeous, incantatory rhythms will make you question whether it is ever entirely possible to know another person.
Reviews of The Bride Stripped Bare
- ‘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