The Bride Stripped Bare

Written by: Nikki Gemmell

The Bride Stripped Bare Book Cover
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?
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The Bride Stripped Bare Reviews

Lauren
This book was something I could relate to being in a relationship for the first time that turned serious fast. It helped me not feel alone and gave me courage to say to my partner what I did and didn't like. We were both virgins and this book gave me the strength to try and help my partner like the 'bride' did with Gabriel. This was the first book I have read, that had sex in detail and even though this is still different from other books I have read since I have come to enjoy more detailed love This book was something I could relate to being in a relationship for the first time that turned serious fast. It helped me not feel alone and gave me courage to say to my partner what I did and didn't like. We were both virgins and this book gave me the strength to try and help my partner like the 'bride' did with Gabriel. This was the first book I have read, that had sex in detail and even though this is still different from other books I have read since I have come to enjoy more detailed love and life stories like "The Bride Stripped Bare". The was an honest and great story that I have read many times since coming across it while browsing for fun in A&R. It was an impulse buy after reading the blurb and liking the title and I have not regretted it since.
CF
I'm going to be honest. I'm not sure I liked this. This woman, who marries her ideal guy, suddenly finds herself believing he is cheating on her with her best friend. That's when her supposed 'sexual awakening' begins. So she has sex with all these guys, all the while her husband is none the wiser. Then she gets pregnant to her husband, realises she still loves him, and nothing happens. He doesn't find out, get revenge, etc. The main character is very, very unlikeable and I find her a bit of a w I'm going to be honest. I'm not sure I liked this. This woman, who marries her ideal guy, suddenly finds herself believing he is cheating on her with her best friend. That's when her supposed 'sexual awakening' begins. So she has sex with all these guys, all the while her husband is none the wiser. Then she gets pregnant to her husband, realises she still loves him, and nothing happens. He doesn't find out, get revenge, etc. The main character is very, very unlikeable and I find her a bit of a whore. Some of the sentences in the book are quite poignant. But only a few. Otherwise, It's basically a story about a woman cheating on her husband, a lot. Ugh
Kelly
Just skimmed some other reviews, and basically agree with a lot of them. This book was kind of irritating and confusing. The obvious attempts to shock with the graphic sex scenes were annoying, and the whole relationship between the woman and her husband was just confusing. I felt like slapping her and telling her to take control of her frigging life... I guess that's what she was supposed to be doing with the secret sex life, but by just completely ignoring her real life in an unrealistic way. Just skimmed some other reviews, and basically agree with a lot of them. This book was kind of irritating and confusing. The obvious attempts to shock with the graphic sex scenes were annoying, and the whole relationship between the woman and her husband was just confusing. I felt like slapping her and telling her to take control of her frigging life... I guess that's what she was supposed to be doing with the secret sex life, but by just completely ignoring her real life in an unrealistic way. Also, the "I found this manuscript and my daughter disappeared" bit was just stupid and pointless. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it.
Lovesong :: Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude Get a Life :: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists :: The Best of Men Behaving Badly :: La vida del Lazarillo de Tormes
Sdot
I read this book in 3 days. I just couldn't put it down. I gave it to one of my girlfriends and my sister for Christmas. I've never been married. My idea of what marriage is was knocked off kilter by this book.

I know people cheat and have affairs. I've had countless conversations with my girlfriends on this topic: what it means and what happens to a relationship in the wake of an affair. In all the books I've read or films I've watched, I've never experienced such an honest approach to marriage I read this book in 3 days. I just couldn't put it down. I gave it to one of my girlfriends and my sister for Christmas. I've never been married. My idea of what marriage is was knocked off kilter by this book.

I know people cheat and have affairs. I've had countless conversations with my girlfriends on this topic: what it means and what happens to a relationship in the wake of an affair. In all the books I've read or films I've watched, I've never experienced such an honest approach to marriage and romantic relationships.
Andrea
WTF was this? It was hailed as an international best seller so I went in expecting it to be good. It was not. It was basically like a milder version of what I imagine 50 shades of grey to be. As has already been said, the main character is utterly, disgustingly, unlikeable. WTF was the taxi driver part? To make it worse, the ending is a total mystery and unrelated to the book. I literally do not know what I just read, all I know is I read it constantly so I could finish it and never have to pick WTF was this? It was hailed as an international best seller so I went in expecting it to be good. It was not. It was basically like a milder version of what I imagine 50 shades of grey to be. As has already been said, the main character is utterly, disgustingly, unlikeable. WTF was the taxi driver part? To make it worse, the ending is a total mystery and unrelated to the book. I literally do not know what I just read, all I know is I read it constantly so I could finish it and never have to pick it up again.
Kate
I read this book quite a few years ago, so I won't comment on plot details and the like. My general impression, looking back, is that this book was a very well written, psychological thrill ride for me. The "sexual awakening" we witness is sometimes hard to stomach--not for the faint of heart. It is told in a second person point of view that invokes different emotions in the reader than would be there if told in the first or third person, I think. Very unique. Crazy! Shocking in parts. I loved i I read this book quite a few years ago, so I won't comment on plot details and the like. My general impression, looking back, is that this book was a very well written, psychological thrill ride for me. The "sexual awakening" we witness is sometimes hard to stomach--not for the faint of heart. It is told in a second person point of view that invokes different emotions in the reader than would be there if told in the first or third person, I think. Very unique. Crazy! Shocking in parts. I loved it.
BookAddict
This is a book about a housewive who embarks on several secret sexual forays after she discovers her husband banged her best friend.

I felt like the writer didnt quite achieve what she was trying to in this book and it came off as rather tacky. For this reason I understand the writer's disappointment in having been tracked down as the author of this book having intended to issue it as an anonymous work.

Great writers like Elfride Jelinek have done it with a lot more sophistication in their story This is a book about a housewive who embarks on several secret sexual forays after she discovers her husband banged her best friend.

I felt like the writer didnt quite achieve what she was trying to in this book and it came off as rather tacky. For this reason I understand the writer's disappointment in having been tracked down as the author of this book having intended to issue it as an anonymous work.

Great writers like Elfride Jelinek have done it with a lot more sophistication in their storytelling and prose.

However, it's bold and entertaining enough so it gets two stars.
Katherine Scott
This book was the only English-language book at the secondhand store closest to my apartment. It seems to be the British "50 Shades of Grey." I had to abandon it. Maybe if I believed that being "a good wife" = being submissive, I could have bought into it. But, since I don't, the book for me was about a woman who blamed her unhappiness with her lame husband on society's expectations of her and so felt justified having an affair with someone she could dominate herself.
Brittany Herz
This book touched me in so many ways. The feelings she felt, the thoughts she thought, so much of this book resonated with me. I've read it twice and found myself highlighting different (and the same) passages each time. I've ever found a book that came so close to what I've been through in my relationships. Powerful. Sad. Happy.
Lindsay
Not a love story but a very stark look at the inner workings and thoughts of a housewife. Very well written and engaging, but also sad.
Alicia Benn-lawler
I found this boring.. I kept skipping ahead to see if anything interesting happened... Nothing really did..
Lisa
This book was phenomenal. I have realized so much about myself & my own sexual personality. Honest, gripping & raunchy. Loved it.
Vicky
I read it years ago, despite being written in a very poor language I found this book very enjoyable
Saturday's Child
I felt that I had to read this to see what all the "talk" was about. It did not do much for me.
Jill
2.5 Stars
Kind of an intriguing novel... the "anonymous" part was strange, considering the final page (in eensy teensy tiny text) told us the name of the author. the "disappearance" part was also strange, it book-ended the novel proper with a paragraph or two from the mother of the "manuscripts" author, but that's all there was, kind of like a dead fish thrown up on the jetty. Plop. Nothing more. Why was that added in, then left as a big hairy dangling un-tied-up thread (or rope, more like it)? F 2.5 Stars
Kind of an intriguing novel... the "anonymous" part was strange, considering the final page (in eensy teensy tiny text) told us the name of the author. the "disappearance" part was also strange, it book-ended the novel proper with a paragraph or two from the mother of the "manuscripts" author, but that's all there was, kind of like a dead fish thrown up on the jetty. Plop. Nothing more. Why was that added in, then left as a big hairy dangling un-tied-up thread (or rope, more like it)? Felt clumsy, awkward, strange.

The novel proper was quite good, almost Liked It. I just found our main gal, the nameless anonymised "wife" to be so almost thoroughly unlikeable that to give her 3 stars felt wrong. Our main gal, the "good wife" was beyond a woman seeking sexual experience and wanting to, for once in her life, act entirely selfishly. She was a child, emotionally and psychologically. An undeveloped and immature child trapped in a woman's body, making strange choices, then being filled with regret and confusion (she "doesn't know" where the wounding words are "coming from" when she accuses her husband of being boring and wasting his life), then going out and making even stranger choices. I started to find her ridiculous.

The sex scenes did have some eroticism in them at times, but mostly they were descriptive. We could have been discussing gardening or cooking, they had that same kind of tone and flavour to them.

So, all in all, okay. Nothing to get charged up about.
Eva
The book is annoying. It wakes your interest in the foreword ; the mother of the author (who disappeared) had found the manusscript in which she read about a side of her daughter that she never knew about.

The tagline says ‘what women really want’.
The actual book is however about a woman who just wants to get fucked as much as possible while she’s in an unhappy marriage (she doesn’t want sex with her husband).
She gets a lover with who she can do anything (as long as its sexual) but when he wants The book is annoying. It wakes your interest in the foreword ; the mother of the author (who disappeared) had found the manusscript in which she read about a side of her daughter that she never knew about.

The tagline says ‘what women really want’.
The actual book is however about a woman who just wants to get fucked as much as possible while she’s in an unhappy marriage (she doesn’t want sex with her husband).
She gets a lover with who she can do anything (as long as its sexual) but when he wants more she break times with him. Then she just decided that a baby would be a good way to fill up the void and maybe connect her with her husband again.
So I don’t think that this book describes what women want at all.
Wanted to get through it as fast as possible. Now that i’ve finished it’s going in the bin.
katie
I was hoping this would be an easy, fun read, with twists and turns to keep me on edge. However I quickly realized this wasn't for me. I simply was not pulled in to the story in a way that I need/want to be.
It has hope, though. Perhaps I can be convinced to try it again some time.
Dawn
What a rubbish book. A woman who swings in her emotions with the wind. She has no character and just appears stupid. The book is meant to be a mystery but it never really answers the mystery. In the end the mystery is why did I bother reading this book lol.
Simona Stamate
The story of a housewife's erotic secret life.
Pretty interesting in many ways.
I really can't find the words to describe it...best is to read it.
Sandra Prosser
I can't remember much of this discussion or book. I remember we did have a long discussion over why nikki might have chosen to publish this as anonymous.
Angie
I'm sorry, I really didn't enjoy this.. found it quite disturbing
Alison Keens
Compelling and disturbing, this is a thought provoking read.
Jennifer
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 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.
Rachel
Hhhhhhokay... I had a lot of problems with this book. The biggest one being that it WAS SO FUCKING BORING!!!! Oh my god I was just so desperate for something to happen! 180 pages in and all Id been given was that the narrator THOUGHT her husband had been having an affair.

This woman is a bad writer. Yes, I understand that she was trying to be edgy and different but it didn't work. For one thing, I don't know anyone who likes second person narratives overly much. I get that she was like "I speak f Hhhhhhokay... I had a lot of problems with this book. The biggest one being that it WAS SO FUCKING BORING!!!! Oh my god I was just so desperate for something to happen! 180 pages in and all Id been given was that the narrator THOUGHT her husband had been having an affair.

This woman is a bad writer. Yes, I understand that she was trying to be edgy and different but it didn't work. For one thing, I don't know anyone who likes second person narratives overly much. I get that she was like "I speak for all women! I understand that you feel these things too!" But just shut up and tell your story. Also, with the whole book in second person perspective, leaving out proper punctuation when people were speaking really did not work. It was off putting and confusing at times and completely disrupted the flow of the story.

I will say that I did like the idea of the book written in lessons, but unfortunately I found the links between the "lessons" and the chapter contents rather flimsy and towards the end of the book I wasn't even reading them anymore as they were so weak I wasn't even retaining what they said as I read.

The sex scenes this book seems to be infamous for seemed so weak and disjointed. There was nothing sensual about it. I just found myself scrunching my face up the whole time I was reading it, feeling uncomfortable.

ALSO!! She uses "exquisite" and "exquisiteness" waaaay to often in an attempt to make the sex seem more decadent. It didn't work. I just found myself being taken out of the story, distracted by her limited vocabulary.

I realise I'm being a little harsh but I was doomed to hate this book from the get go. I haaaaaated the protagonist. She wasn't a real person and she was dripping in contradictions. The start of the book is just an endless repetition of how wonderfully in love she is and how much she wants to please he husband yet there's a relentless attack on him and all the little things that make him less than perfect. She constantly does the exact thing she hates the mother character for.

And please, the woman says the reason she married him is because he's the only person she could truly be herself and honest with yet she fakes her orgasms?

She's constantly wanting what she can't have, doing what she thinks is so unforgivable of her husband to have done, and begs for sympathy the whole time!!! Along with that she tries to justify her actions with the old "I am woman, hear me roar" mantra... It falls flat on its face in this case.
Adellet
A friend gave me this book and recommended highly.

I just couldn't get on board with the second person narration it was odd and felt stilited.

I also had no idea what it was about and didn't expect it to be so raunchy, but that didn't bother me. The story was meant to be an empowering awakening for the main character, but I couldn't get on her side. She was just so downright irritating. Couldn't she see the irony that her path of rebellion was just trapping her in the throes of another man? And at A friend gave me this book and recommended highly.

I just couldn't get on board with the second person narration it was odd and felt stilited.

I also had no idea what it was about and didn't expect it to be so raunchy, but that didn't bother me. The story was meant to be an empowering awakening for the main character, but I couldn't get on her side. She was just so downright irritating. Couldn't she see the irony that her path of rebellion was just trapping her in the throes of another man? And at the end she was equally trapped by the love for her son. She didn't really grow or learn anything at all. I guess this is what the author was hinting all along but I can't help but say, so what? What are we meant to get out of this?

By the end of the book, the character annoyed me so much that I just wanted her to go away, and thankfully that's how the story ended.

Quick and easy read with super short chapters but I probably won't be passing it on as a recommended read to anyone else.

P.s. Just realised it's a trilogy...damn I guess she comes back :/

P.p.s. just read the other blurbs...she doesn't, phew.
Rhonda
One star for the idea behind it only. I decided to read this book long before I actually found a copy - because the story behind its writing was interesting - a well known author writes a sexual fantasy anonymously but gets found out halfway through, and something about her mother being horrified? I don't know whether that was actually true or a publicity ploy, and don't really care. It's an interesting story in itself because it meant the author, if it were true, would have gone all out, uncons One star for the idea behind it only. I decided to read this book long before I actually found a copy - because the story behind its writing was interesting - a well known author writes a sexual fantasy anonymously but gets found out halfway through, and something about her mother being horrified? I don't know whether that was actually true or a publicity ploy, and don't really care. It's an interesting story in itself because it meant the author, if it were true, would have gone all out, unconstrained by anxiety about what those she or he might think. It also said something specific about writers and the subject of writing, how a writer can be limited by the opinions/feelings of those close to them, and how the rest of us, ie their readers, potentially miss out on the writers fullest expression of his/her subject might be. Having said that - I found this book difficult to put down but at the same time frustrating and ultimately disappointing. It reads as if 'anonymous' googled what the main themes of womens' sexual fantasies are and then created something to fit each of them. And this might have worked as a tidy bit of fiction - but with one fantasy oddly, she became abruptly coy and judgemental and where the other fantasies had been colourful and interesting, this one was short and unpleasant and, unlike the others, devoid of believability. An affair with a beautiful man who is inexperienced in love and with whom she gets the opportunity to take total control, getting a bit of rough from taxi drivers, contemplating group sex, and sex with a woman - and suddenly she is coy and affronted by the nastiness of it all and falls back willingly into the loving arms of a husband she has quite effectively presented as boring, insensitive and vaguely repulsive at the beginning but who has done an about face and is suddenly all one would wish for given that life and love is never perfect. I think the bit that got me was that she asked the taxi driver to choose the woman and then made much of how badly she was dressed - whereas by this stage I had bought into the story and was quite looking forward to seeing how she would handle it. The book promised to be an adventure, and it wasn't. In the end the old romantic and male/female cliches played themselves out and taxi drivers and female lovers got the rough end of the stick. Pity - because it could seemed to offer something braver and more honest.
David
A strange mix of eroticism and intimacy as the author (allegedly the Aussie, Nikki Gemmell) explores in the style of a diary or journal, the inner soul of a young woman experiencing love, lust and childbirth in her early married years.

The book is not an simple read but rather a long series of one or two page vignettes with chapter headings seemingly giving the sort of advise a mother might give a daughter which are in turn challenged by the chapter's prose. Sometimes it was a source of unnecessa A strange mix of eroticism and intimacy as the author (allegedly the Aussie, Nikki Gemmell) explores in the style of a diary or journal, the inner soul of a young woman experiencing love, lust and childbirth in her early married years.

The book is not an simple read but rather a long series of one or two page vignettes with chapter headings seemingly giving the sort of advise a mother might give a daughter which are in turn challenged by the chapter's prose. Sometimes it was a source of unnecessary frustration trying to relate the heading to an individual chapter's content.

While the book would undoubtedly give some readers a little titillation, as it is a frank exploration of many aspects of arousal and passion, it is not a 'hard-core' sex on every page book of eroticism. Male readers may well be bemused and wondering what it is all about.

The writing is in the first person and starts with a young lady on her honeymoon in Marrakech. There is the initial relationship with Cole her new husband and then a new lover, Gabriel, who seems just to appear on the scene.

The 138 lessons in life became somewhat less interesting as one starts to search for some depth or thread of a story, which frankly was lacking. This is a book which might for some women allow them the private reflection of past emotional experiences in love and lust as well as the intensity of pain and turmoil in pregnancy. For them it may well be a must read. However, for most readers of fiction I doubt they will read it all but skim and be somewhat disappointed.

The prose is in places well constructed and emotive as in the 'slow creep of the cold' that one experiences when walking into a pool for the first time but at times it gets a bit lost - 'the first scrum of morning birds sounds like fat spitting and crackling in a kitchen'. Can't say I have ever heard those birds but it may be an Australian thing (though it is set in Marrakech).

That said there are reviewers who have gushed praise on this book, though they would seem to be mostly women. Of course, it is a best seller in England and Australia so it must be striking a cord in many. I would recommend a read of more than a few pages before buying it. You may be disappointed.
Alan
Not at all what I was expecting... For some reason, I thought "The Bride Stripped Bare" was the "50 Shades" of 2003. I've seen it on many a list of must-read novels and bestsellers, and was given to understand that it was something of an erotic, sexual awakening... type... thing...? Don't get me wrong! I thought it would be larger than that, with depth and substance and junk, but I also thought it would be sort of sexy.

I guess I was half-right? Not unlike "50 Shades", this novel has sexual theme Not at all what I was expecting... For some reason, I thought "The Bride Stripped Bare" was the "50 Shades" of 2003. I've seen it on many a list of must-read novels and bestsellers, and was given to understand that it was something of an erotic, sexual awakening... type... thing...? Don't get me wrong! I thought it would be larger than that, with depth and substance and junk, but I also thought it would be sort of sexy.

I guess I was half-right? Not unlike "50 Shades", this novel has sexual themes and sexual words in it and not unlike "50 Shades", it's about as erotic as an Introductory Accounting textbook (actually, book-keeping is pretty sexy). There isn't even that much sex involved, considering that it is the sole preoccupation of the anonymous heroine for the first 300 or so pages.

The book opens with a honeymoon in exotic Morocco, which is pretty cool, except that it's sort of beside the point. In fact, the novel gallivants all around Europe and the Mediterranean, dabbling in Russia for one chapter and Spain for another, but these moments are all too fleeting. Put simply, the narrator is a horrible person (she says so herself) who has sex on the brain. Crazy, violent, horrible sex. The kind that escalates awfully quickly from a sensual rendezvous to a sordid gang-bang with strangers.

The novel is written in present-tense second-person. You roll your eyes and groan because you really hate that. On the plus side, the chapters are really short so you can put it down, a lot. Each chapter begins with a random passage from an Elizabethan text which, yeah, would also be kind of cool if it had anything to do with anything ever.

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend this novel to anybody. It's an entire novel about terrible people having awkward sex. There were occasional glimpses of something more, but the perks are inevitably drowned out by the petty, bitchy, who-really-cares drama. The novel claims to be about "what women really want", but I seriously doubt it.
Sabrina
After reading the first page I was intriged as to what story this was really going to be, I trouble with the Lesson bit a lesson or a chapter; I was not able to decifer initially what was being separated. I was more at ease with the type of righting after a little wile.

To me this is a story not relly erotica not relly a romance not mistery or chick flick, but I found it was alitle of all in one book, about a woman that feels trapped in a comfortable relationship that she does not want to leave, After reading the first page I was intriged as to what story this was really going to be, I trouble with the Lesson bit a lesson or a chapter; I was not able to decifer initially what was being separated. I was more at ease with the type of righting after a little wile.

To me this is a story not relly erotica not relly a romance not mistery or chick flick, but I found it was alitle of all in one book, about a woman that feels trapped in a comfortable relationship that she does not want to leave, but feels trapped by her deepest desires and a need to explore these before driving herself into the depths of feeling non-existent. There are men that will not listen to woman what you like or what you want but in turn these men assume they know it all, in life you will find all kinds.
She had a Husband that in a very strange way was her rock never any doubts or question or nothing in fact to him she is perfect, unbeknown to him she has this desire to explore and to be pleased and pleasured for her as well as others as her husband seems unable to do as he seems to know best!
This is just a book and foe many of us is perhaps the fantasy of getting out of your relationship and get what you so much want or need the feeling of being wooed in an erotic and sensual way she did it and was not found out she tried and carried on her normal life her secret. As much as the first page keeps you reading to find out if she was found then after you read the book your no more clear on this than the first page itself???
I liked it very much I can see where the anonymessy of the book I can very much understand as this can be very controversial as many conclusions can be taken from this, for me this was brilliant.
Nikki GemmellThe Bride Stripped Bare
Jace Davies
I've read some dreadful books, but this was one of the worst.

It's supposed to be a frank exploration of 'what women really want but are too afraid to tell you, or themselves.'

Yeah, no.

People have drawn comparisons between this woman and Henry Miller. Ridiculous. Dwelling on that idea is far more amusing, in fact, than reading 'The Bride Stripped Bare.'

Miller was a master of prose. Gemmell's effort might generously be rated 'undergraduate'. But the prose isn't the problem here. It's the book's p I've read some dreadful books, but this was one of the worst.

It's supposed to be a frank exploration of 'what women really want but are too afraid to tell you, or themselves.'

Yeah, no.

People have drawn comparisons between this woman and Henry Miller. Ridiculous. Dwelling on that idea is far more amusing, in fact, than reading 'The Bride Stripped Bare.'

Miller was a master of prose. Gemmell's effort might generously be rated 'undergraduate'. But the prose isn't the problem here. It's the book's premises. Henry Miller's fictional projection was unashamed, unabashed and forthright in his philosophical outlook. He was lust incarnate.

Now let's pick apart Gemmell's 'bride'. She's duplicitous, cynical, sneaky and bitter that the world isn't giving her what she wants. She's not the feminine twin of Miller. She's the feminine twin of Philip Roth's Micky Sabbath. Only Sabbath was supposed to caricature everything contemptible, foul and wasteful in the male psyche. He isn't telling us anything secret about ourselves. We roll our eyes at him and chuckle as his dreadful life collapses around his ears.

Gemmell wants us to sympathise with her 'bride', and this authorial intent shows in every paragraph and sentence. Oh thwarted entitlement! Oh unsatisfied need for excitement! Oh uncaring cosmos!

This literary garbage is Bridget Jones's ugly friend at the bar.

But then... I didn't bother myself with the ending. Maybe it got better.

(Of course it didn't.)
Abby
Compelled to write a "half way" review. So far, the narrator/heroine has spent the last 150 pages whinging abot herself and her dead marriage. Immature, narcissistic, and rotten navel-gazing are making it REALLY hars for me to believe this is erotica. So far this is the least erotic book I've ever read. Adultery is not sexy.

*************************
I dropped the book last night. Actually, in truth, I read the last page, and then threw it across the room. (Sorry Waltham Public Library. The cover Compelled to write a "half way" review. So far, the narrator/heroine has spent the last 150 pages whinging abot herself and her dead marriage. Immature, narcissistic, and rotten navel-gazing are making it REALLY hars for me to believe this is erotica. So far this is the least erotic book I've ever read. Adultery is not sexy.

*************************
I dropped the book last night. Actually, in truth, I read the last page, and then threw it across the room. (Sorry Waltham Public Library. The cover has a few new creases due to my disgust.)

The heroine is the most narcissictic, selfish and STUPID woman I have ever met. Every act went against everything I enjoy in erotica. I like strong women, protected sex (or at the very least that nominal dialog of STIs/pregnancy), and monogamy. I'm all for "monogamish" so long as the couple is open about it. (See Portia da Costa's The Tutor for this done well.) THIS book on the other hand, UGH!

The men were cardboard cutouts and only served for her to project her fantasy's on, except she's too weak to actually OWN any of her fantasies and act on them in a safe way.

Also, WTF is up with that random "mystery" ending. UNNECESSARY!! It was like one of those TV shows that ends their series with the "it was all a dream" ending. What a cop out!!

... and now I have to read 50 Shades of Gray for bookclub. I HATE bad erotica. Gonna go stock up on some Anne Calhoun and Portia da Costa for a thorough pallet cleansing.
Kelly
I have just finished reading this and what a load of tripe. It's appalling!!

It's written very oddly and in an odd way, not something I have come across before and don't intend to again to be honest.

It starts off with a woman going missing and her mothers letter asking for her to be found, she found a manuscript on her daughters laptop and had it published to see if it would help.

Woman marries husband and they go on honeymoon, he can't make her orgasm but that doesn't matter. She thinks he's be I have just finished reading this and what a load of tripe. It's appalling!!

It's written very oddly and in an odd way, not something I have come across before and don't intend to again to be honest.

It starts off with a woman going missing and her mothers letter asking for her to be found, she found a manuscript on her daughters laptop and had it published to see if it would help.

Woman marries husband and they go on honeymoon, he can't make her orgasm but that doesn't matter. She thinks he's been having an affair with her friend. She then goes on to have an affair with another man - why? Because her husband apparently did the same to her. She gets in too deep, affair man loves her and it scares her. She runs away. She then decides to cleanse herself by sleeping with a taxi driver (WTF) and having a 3some. It doesn't work. She tries cleansing herself again and a woman is involved this time but it doesn't work and she throws them out.
Then she decides they need to have a baby to make the relationship work out...yeah ok then. Husband wont sleep with her, so where does she go? Back to the man she had an affair with...oh and while she's sleeping with all these people she's having unprotected sex (well she's on the pill so that makes it ok *sarcasm*
Baby is born and she loves him blah blah blah, husband loves him and she's happy. Then it finishes. No explanation as to why she went missing or anything, I don't even know if the husband knows she's missing?

Weird.
Jenny
Don't buy this book. Maybe borrow it from someone if you're curious but don't buy it. In my humble opinion, it's just not worth it.
*SPOILERS*
It's basically the story of a woman in her mid-thirties who finds out during her honeymoon that her husband is cheating on her with her best friend. So, what she does is go find herself a lover and when that's not enough she fucks random strangers... in the end she gets knocked up, has a baby...THE END.
Oh yeah and there are some stuff about what women thin Don't buy this book. Maybe borrow it from someone if you're curious but don't buy it. In my humble opinion, it's just not worth it.
*SPOILERS*
It's basically the story of a woman in her mid-thirties who finds out during her honeymoon that her husband is cheating on her with her best friend. So, what she does is go find herself a lover and when that's not enough she fucks random strangers... in the end she gets knocked up, has a baby...THE END.
Oh yeah and there are some stuff about what women think but not say (about sex, about men etc.)in between. Things that have already been said and written before, I feel. For example, we learn that she's never had an orgasm before, that she fakes it all the time, that she pretty much hasn't had an honest talk with her husband about it etc. I'm not sure if I was supposed to feel sorry for her...I did at times, but she mostly pissed me off. You just can't fake orgams all your life, you cannot not talk with your husband about what you like or not like during sex, you cannot do what others tell you to do all the time, you can't fuck around and feel entitled to it because you were cheated on....you can't do all these things (at 36!) and expect the reader to sympathize, can you? I don't know, there are many things wrong about this character that made me not really enjoy reading the book at all.
Janis
I have a mixed review for this book. Firstly, I was hoping there was more to the mystery aspect of the story as mentioned on the book's back cover. I think that would have catapulted this book into something really special. About halfway through the book I was about to give up despite my absolutely loving the velvety, elegant prose and the unique sectioning of the book into Lessons (as opposed to Chapters). I also love the stream-of-thought, quote-free rambling style and found it so refreshing t I have a mixed review for this book. Firstly, I was hoping there was more to the mystery aspect of the story as mentioned on the book's back cover. I think that would have catapulted this book into something really special. About halfway through the book I was about to give up despite my absolutely loving the velvety, elegant prose and the unique sectioning of the book into Lessons (as opposed to Chapters). I also love the stream-of-thought, quote-free rambling style and found it so refreshing to read a book that way. But I really was hoping for a more complex storyline involving the mystery of her disappearance. Perhaps the author found this to match the tone of the book as an understated emotional and sexual awakening of a housewife whose needs are ultimately left unmet. Additionally, I was relieved to find the sexual scenes to have the acts themselves alluded to more than explicitly described as the latter would not match the tone of this book. I think the title, the cover and the description lead one to believe this is a highly erotic tale, and I just didn't see it that way. More so, I found it a touching story about the highs and lows of marriage, the lack of then resurgence of emotion and the fantasy of taking a lover that was sumptuously written and beautifully executed.
Brooke Hamilton
Initially I was drawn in by the language, I found the writing quite lyrical.
I identified in parts, disagreed with choices, stood beside the protagonists throughout, seeing, feeling, practically touching her world. I didn't hate this book I was captivated...until I got to the end. Lesson 138, then came the postscript! WTF????
At first I thought I'd lost some pages. But I was reading on a kindle.
Is that how it ends? Is that how author thought to tie all the loose ends and close such an intensely Initially I was drawn in by the language, I found the writing quite lyrical.
I identified in parts, disagreed with choices, stood beside the protagonists throughout, seeing, feeling, practically touching her world. I didn't hate this book I was captivated...until I got to the end. Lesson 138, then came the postscript! WTF????
At first I thought I'd lost some pages. But I was reading on a kindle.
Is that how it ends? Is that how author thought to tie all the loose ends and close such an intensely passionate in depth journey along side this woman and her self discovery and destruction?
It felt as if the letter and the postscript where tacked on at the beginning and end of this book to offer a quick easy finish. A decision that showed minimal thought process or prowess to create a charming, enlightening or decent finale..just...blam!
A single paragraph to close and a perfectly placed letter at the start so holy unrelated to the story. I'm still trying to make sense of it!
I'm so unsettled by the way this has been rounded off, I'm going to forgo any future books by this author, I don't want to waste time reading only to have the book slammed shut in my face.
I feel duped, cheated & Im sad to say, this was a good book ruined by a extraordinarily dumb ending.
kickdballz
I am not sure about others. There are so many mix reviews here.

For me, this book may not suitable for fans of fifty shades. This book is different. Fifty shades and its kinds do not have adultery as I am usually not a big fan of main characters cheating each other. (correct me if I'm wrong)

While for this book, the h had trouble with her marriage. She still in love with her husband but their sex life weren't great. Thus, she seek pleasure outside of it.

This book is not that bad if you ever able I am not sure about others. There are so many mix reviews here.

For me, this book may not suitable for fans of fifty shades. This book is different. Fifty shades and its kinds do not have adultery as I am usually not a big fan of main characters cheating each other. (correct me if I'm wrong)

While for this book, the h had trouble with her marriage. She still in love with her husband but their sex life weren't great. Thus, she seek pleasure outside of it.

This book is not that bad if you ever able to see at her point of view. It sounded more realistic, and I won't be suprised if it really happened out there. It's a woman marriage fiction and good-written. Moreover, to say this book is for people looking for heavily erotic written book does not do its justice. There's hardly any hot graphic details. I have read better and darker genre.

But well, this book is intrigued enough for wanting me to read the second book. That is good enough.

*I rarely write review. I need to let this out as it is very seldom for me to vouch h to go for second hero. Lol. Forgive me for my grammar error
Liz
This book was a bit of a mixed bag. I read it almost in one go, so to me the writing was definitely gripping. I identified with many of the protagonist's sentiments about sexuality, and on a few occasions wondered how the author knew exactly how I felt.

However, parts of the novel were kind of trashy, mostly because some of the situations seemed unlikely - a sexy half-Spanish man in his thirties who's a virgin? But the excitement at a new, illicit relationship was conveyed well, and no matter how This book was a bit of a mixed bag. I read it almost in one go, so to me the writing was definitely gripping. I identified with many of the protagonist's sentiments about sexuality, and on a few occasions wondered how the author knew exactly how I felt.

However, parts of the novel were kind of trashy, mostly because some of the situations seemed unlikely - a sexy half-Spanish man in his thirties who's a virgin? But the excitement at a new, illicit relationship was conveyed well, and no matter how unlikely the situation, it's still an exciting thought to teach a man all about sex and be completely in control. After all, fantasies don't have to be realistic, do they?

The ending was a massive disappointment, in my opinion. I looked at how many pages were left before the end, and everything was still fine, and I wondered what on earth would happen to cause the disappearance in such a short time. Nothing really did happen to trigger it. I found that frustrating, and to be it came across as a rushed conclusion without enough thought put into it, which was unsatisfying.

So, three stars for the writing, insights and raw emotions, and none for the ending.
Margaret Small
We've owned this book for a number of years but I've resisted reading it until now. I don't like romantic fiction, have never regarded sex as a spectator sport, always skip over sex scenes in novels. So since I'd read that this is all about sex, I picked up up reluctantly this week, fully expecting to put it down again after ten or twenty pages. Instead I read to the end in the space of two days. Sure, it is all about sex, but written in a somehow clinical or distanced way, I think because of th We've owned this book for a number of years but I've resisted reading it until now. I don't like romantic fiction, have never regarded sex as a spectator sport, always skip over sex scenes in novels. So since I'd read that this is all about sex, I picked up up reluctantly this week, fully expecting to put it down again after ten or twenty pages. Instead I read to the end in the space of two days. Sure, it is all about sex, but written in a somehow clinical or distanced way, I think because of the unusual use of the second voice. It's as if the narrator has stepped back from her experiences and is examining them at a slight distance, trying to make sense of her feelings and actions. That helped me to take a more objective view of her wild exploits. The depiction of the emotion roller coaster that many of us experience as we come to terms with a close relationship with another person rang true to me. Her behaviour is of course disturbingly reckless, so the ending should not have come as a shock, although I wasn't expecting that at all. In the end I was glad I'd read it.
Natasha
I've struggled with what to rate this book. And where do I begin when it comes down to reviewing this.....I'm not going to fault this authors writing style as each to their own and I didn't like it at first but I did get used to it. I was beginning to like the main character, I felt sorry for her when she found her husband talking intimately on the phone to her best friend. But then she lost me when she decided to stay in the relationship anyway and decided to go out and cheat herself. She didn' I've struggled with what to rate this book. And where do I begin when it comes down to reviewing this.....I'm not going to fault this authors writing style as each to their own and I didn't like it at first but I did get used to it. I was beginning to like the main character, I felt sorry for her when she found her husband talking intimately on the phone to her best friend. But then she lost me when she decided to stay in the relationship anyway and decided to go out and cheat herself. She didn't mind having this affair and really seemed to like Gabriel until he admitted to having feelings for her. It made me change my opinion of her when she treated him the way she did.....only to go running back to him when she was 7 months pregnant. Then there's the ending. What in the world is with this ending!!! That's it.....nothing. She just disappeared? Did the baby and her husband disappear too? I'm just really confused now and not sure what to think about this book. Very strange to say the least. I've way too many questions for this to be a conclusion to a book.
Angelique
I finished this book in one night. Not because it was amazing or anything like that. I just wanted to see what happened in the end.

Before I finished reading, I actually thought this book was based on a real diary of a real woman and that she truly did go missing - despite the fact that I found this in the fiction section.
However, had I not foolishly forgotten that it was a work of fiction, I wouldn't have been so strongly propelled to read the book because I was only curious if there'd be any I finished this book in one night. Not because it was amazing or anything like that. I just wanted to see what happened in the end.

Before I finished reading, I actually thought this book was based on a real diary of a real woman and that she truly did go missing - despite the fact that I found this in the fiction section.
However, had I not foolishly forgotten that it was a work of fiction, I wouldn't have been so strongly propelled to read the book because I was only curious if there'd be any clues at the end of the book to her disappearance.

One thing that didn't add up was how it's mentioned, before and after the story, that the woman's father got her diary published. But during the story her father is supposedly dead??
Does she have a zombie father or did I read incorrectly? :S

It makes me sad thinking of what both the husband and wife did to each other. An interesting story, but a sad one.
Bethany
I like the author's writing style and use of language in many parts, but the themes in this book were poorly explored. The second-person narrative was unnerving at first, but I settled into it. The narrator wasn't very likeable, and I didn't really feel I learnt anything from her experiences (I'm not sure she did either). It was just an easy read, a time-filler. I couldn't stand the "lessons" at the start of each short "chapter" if you can call them that, I stopped reading them after a while and I like the author's writing style and use of language in many parts, but the themes in this book were poorly explored. The second-person narrative was unnerving at first, but I settled into it. The narrator wasn't very likeable, and I didn't really feel I learnt anything from her experiences (I'm not sure she did either). It was just an easy read, a time-filler. I couldn't stand the "lessons" at the start of each short "chapter" if you can call them that, I stopped reading them after a while and didn't see how they were relevant to the content of the book at all. And all the themes this book touches on: marriage, infidelity, passion, friendship, happiness ... none of them were adequately explored, the whole thing was rather two-dimensional. This book is kind of like fast food: it goes down quickly and easily, and is mildly satisfying at the time but just leaves a yucky taste in your mouth.
Stephanie Ziegler
This book reads very similar to a diary and boy did it feel like she was writing out of my diary. With all the quotes from newspapers and magazines on the book's jacket, I thought this would be an X rated book. It is more like PG-13. The author uses the possibility of an affair as an excuse for the female lead to do things behind her husband's back. It is as if she continued to believe on purpose because it gave her 'permission' to do the things she does. I do not like the short stint with the c This book reads very similar to a diary and boy did it feel like she was writing out of my diary. With all the quotes from newspapers and magazines on the book's jacket, I thought this would be an X rated book. It is more like PG-13. The author uses the possibility of an affair as an excuse for the female lead to do things behind her husband's back. It is as if she continued to believe on purpose because it gave her 'permission' to do the things she does. I do not like the short stint with the cab driver and the woman who stole her purse. I feel she has more class than that and the fear of these strangers having her address went nowhere. Everyone knows that having a baby does not fix a relationship so to tidy up this book with a pretty bow is extremely unrealistic. If you are looking for an erotic to dirty book, this is not the one for you.

Until next time, take life one page at a time!
Ruby Noise
The sexuality of women and their relationships with men and other women are so well written in this book. True we are not all the same, nor have the same wants and insecurities as others yet this is one woman's tale on how she feels in the first years of marriage. As with most other popular culture I find it bizarre that no-one can speak the truth to whom they love. Is the truth so difficult to tell to the one you share your life with, they are only words in the end.

It irks me that this book wa The sexuality of women and their relationships with men and other women are so well written in this book. True we are not all the same, nor have the same wants and insecurities as others yet this is one woman's tale on how she feels in the first years of marriage. As with most other popular culture I find it bizarre that no-one can speak the truth to whom they love. Is the truth so difficult to tell to the one you share your life with, they are only words in the end.

It irks me that this book was written anonymously (to protect her marriage and that of her female friends) yet some journalist deemed that she should be outed and named. Is nothing sacred in this world when creatives akin to Banksy and the author of this book want to just do their thing without being 'outed'. Can't we not just concentrate on the piece of work they create rather than who they are!
penelopewanders
Hmm. I guess there's just a time and place for every book, and if you read it in that time and place it's just right. I started this book a day or two ago and wondered how I'd get through it, found the beginning so uninspiring. Then all of a sudden it grabbed me and I couldn't put it down. In a way I suppose it's the perfect fantasy.
I don't for a second believe it's even meant to be a real diary - this is the image in the mirror, as the author and the character both decide the novel can be writ Hmm. I guess there's just a time and place for every book, and if you read it in that time and place it's just right. I started this book a day or two ago and wondered how I'd get through it, found the beginning so uninspiring. Then all of a sudden it grabbed me and I couldn't put it down. In a way I suppose it's the perfect fantasy.
I don't for a second believe it's even meant to be a real diary - this is the image in the mirror, as the author and the character both decide the novel can be written if it's written anonymously.
I guess my irritation (part of why I didn't like the beginning, I suppose) was that I could not understand why she was with Cole in the first place. So I liked the ending as that leaves me to imagine that she finally made a better choice.
Anyway, I could imagine not liking this in a different mood, but for yesterday it was perfect.
Herbert
An intriguing and uniquely structured novel through 'lessons' that chronicle a series of affairs between a married couple. I wasn't really sure what to expect, although I did find the book emotionally quite raw and honest.

There was an unusual use of the second person narrative from the woman's perspective (which I actually enjoyed) and there was some lovely phrases and fragmented thoughts, but otherwise the story left me feeling rather empty and irritated and I just wasn't bothered by it, or pe An intriguing and uniquely structured novel through 'lessons' that chronicle a series of affairs between a married couple. I wasn't really sure what to expect, although I did find the book emotionally quite raw and honest.

There was an unusual use of the second person narrative from the woman's perspective (which I actually enjoyed) and there was some lovely phrases and fragmented thoughts, but otherwise the story left me feeling rather empty and irritated and I just wasn't bothered by it, or perturbed by the erotica for that matter. I didn't really care for any of the characters. And the ending just felt as though the couple were back exactly where they started - 'happily married' indeed.
NomdePlumePress
The premise is that the book is the diary of a new wife, found by her father after she disappeared and published as is. You follow her blunt, flailing descent into a different life as you get to know her. She’s lovely and honest and hurt by the unjustice that has been visited upon her by those closest to her. She’s just like you. Hence, second person. She tells you what she’s really thinking, what she really wants, uncensored by propriety. The book is frank about sex, but only because if you all The premise is that the book is the diary of a new wife, found by her father after she disappeared and published as is. You follow her blunt, flailing descent into a different life as you get to know her. She’s lovely and honest and hurt by the unjustice that has been visited upon her by those closest to her. She’s just like you. Hence, second person. She tells you what she’s really thinking, what she really wants, uncensored by propriety. The book is frank about sex, but only because if you allowed women to talk about marriage and associated relations without censoring or judging us, we would be frank and blunt and crude and demanding.

The rest of our review is here: http://wp.me/p2MJls-4R

www.nomdeplumepress.wordpress.com
Jen
This would be a 4 star book for me, were it not for the prologue and the epilogue.
How totally stupid & unnecessary. If anything, I think the editor of this book should be shot for allowing this crap. It's as if the author wasn't confident enough in the material and just pasted some shit on it at the end. It's not a mystery. Why is she trying to make it one? It's about her, it's about sex, it's about perceptions. How can the author write these things and then be so totally afraid to just let This would be a 4 star book for me, were it not for the prologue and the epilogue.
How totally stupid & unnecessary. If anything, I think the editor of this book should be shot for allowing this crap. It's as if the author wasn't confident enough in the material and just pasted some shit on it at the end. It's not a mystery. Why is she trying to make it one? It's about her, it's about sex, it's about perceptions. How can the author write these things and then be so totally afraid to just let it stand on its own? So I get to the end of this story and now I am supposed to sit here and wonder if she killed herself or if one of the men in her life killed her or what? What total bullshit.
I loved everything written from the bride's point of view. It would have stood on its own just fine.
Kat
- 4.5 stars -

A book that exposes many truths. A strong work, but I would caution future readers: not everyone is ready for this book. There are friends I want to buy copies for, but also friends that I would never ever recommend this to. Brutally honest, This book is designed to make you question your own emotional and sexual baggage. It exposes the discomfort, even the self-loathing, that many women have about their own sexuality. Make sure you are ready for some serious introspection before si - 4.5 stars -

A book that exposes many truths. A strong work, but I would caution future readers: not everyone is ready for this book. There are friends I want to buy copies for, but also friends that I would never ever recommend this to. Brutally honest, This book is designed to make you question your own emotional and sexual baggage. It exposes the discomfort, even the self-loathing, that many women have about their own sexuality. Make sure you are ready for some serious introspection before sitting down with it. And if you are currently in a relationship, I wouldn't read this book unless you are comfortable (and communicative) enough with your partner to have them read it as well. The issues it raises deserve discussion.
Maiah
I picked up The Bride Stripped Bare on a whim while shopping at Target. I was in the mood for something a little fun, a little sexy, and totally breathtaking and that is exactly what I got. Nikki Gemmell does a wonderful job of drawing you into her character’s mind. You experience, first hand, the struggle of being caught in a relationship that feels suffocating and passionless. You relate to the restlessness, and you understand the main character’s need for more. I’ll admit, the sex scenes made I picked up The Bride Stripped Bare on a whim while shopping at Target. I was in the mood for something a little fun, a little sexy, and totally breathtaking and that is exactly what I got. Nikki Gemmell does a wonderful job of drawing you into her character’s mind. You experience, first hand, the struggle of being caught in a relationship that feels suffocating and passionless. You relate to the restlessness, and you understand the main character’s need for more. I’ll admit, the sex scenes made me blush while reading on my train rides to and from work but the strength within Gemmell’s writing curbed my embarrassment.

If there’s a sequel on the way, it’ll be added to my library immediately.
Raquel
There are problematic elements to.this book but overall I appreciate its honest and unflinching examination of female sexuality. Need to come back and form a more cohesive review later.
Antonia Jackson
Great book about growing up into a mature person and the secret thoughts we all have but cannot express out loud to anyone else. Friendships and motherhood are explored and what a relief to read all the various emotions they invoke. The double standard applies to all sexes, the honest look straight in the eyes (that is not true) applies to both sexes, the need to provide for oneself and to be looked after financially is well expressed non-judgementally. Heroine is a tad selfish but it could equa Great book about growing up into a mature person and the secret thoughts we all have but cannot express out loud to anyone else. Friendships and motherhood are explored and what a relief to read all the various emotions they invoke. The double standard applies to all sexes, the honest look straight in the eyes (that is not true) applies to both sexes, the need to provide for oneself and to be looked after financially is well expressed non-judgementally. Heroine is a tad selfish but it could equally apply to all. Her references to metallic taste, smells etc, etc are all good to hear out loud. Glad I read the book.
Debra
Instead of chapters, this book is divided into lessons. I had a hard time keeping the events in this anonymous woman's life straight because at first it jumped around to events that were not brought to light in order. This confuses the reader having to figure things out. It did get a bit better as the book went on but it just wasn't the kind of format that did this book any justice in my opinion. I am still not quite sure what kind of book I just read either.....it is better written except for f Instead of chapters, this book is divided into lessons. I had a hard time keeping the events in this anonymous woman's life straight because at first it jumped around to events that were not brought to light in order. This confuses the reader having to figure things out. It did get a bit better as the book went on but it just wasn't the kind of format that did this book any justice in my opinion. I am still not quite sure what kind of book I just read either.....it is better written except for format wise than 50 Shades, but like 50 Shades highly doubt I would even consider reading book 2 in this series.
Wulan
Not all the book that you've read is good or life-changing I suppose, you can also read something just because of the hype that surrounds it. This book is an example. I was curious because: a. it was touted as THE must read erotica b. it was written by an anonymous. When it was revealed later that the writer is also an author of children's books, the hype was even bigger. I read it and tossed it to the furthest corner of my room. I finished the book albeit painfully, everything in this book is a Not all the book that you've read is good or life-changing I suppose, you can also read something just because of the hype that surrounds it. This book is an example. I was curious because: a. it was touted as THE must read erotica b. it was written by an anonymous. When it was revealed later that the writer is also an author of children's books, the hype was even bigger. I read it and tossed it to the furthest corner of my room. I finished the book albeit painfully, everything in this book is a cliche, the plot the prose the character etc. Lesson to learn: curiousity is good but drawing a limit for yourself is even more important.
Jenna
One of my friends warned me that she was horrified by the amount of gratuituous sex this novel contained, however I didn't find that disconcerting at all . . . Perhaps I am a pervert, who's to say . . .

I thought this book was great, I loved this line:

"Your eyes are shut as you think of that utterly disarming ability to love openly, to declare need in the nuance of a sound and what a rare kind of quality it is in a man ; you think of how diminishing it is, that utterly honest kind of love that w One of my friends warned me that she was horrified by the amount of gratuituous sex this novel contained, however I didn't find that disconcerting at all . . . Perhaps I am a pervert, who's to say . . .

I thought this book was great, I loved this line:

"Your eyes are shut as you think of that utterly disarming ability to love openly, to declare need in the nuance of a sound and what a rare kind of quality it is in a man ; you think of how diminishing it is, that utterly honest kind of love that wilts you, that makes vulnerable and soft."

Maybe a touch on the cheesy, sentimental side. Maybe that's just the romantic in me, screaming to be heard.
Natalie Blom
For me, this book fell a bit short. I was curious about the concept of a mysterious secret diary of a woman's sexual awakening, but was sadly disappointed at the hot and cold writing style.
I don't think of myself as an impatient reader but when you read 200 pages of not so much and then all of a sudden in the space of a rather short 'lesson' the protagonist has slept with a bunch of randoms...
I did enjoy the lack of conversational punctuation, kept me concentrating. I also thought the lessons to For me, this book fell a bit short. I was curious about the concept of a mysterious secret diary of a woman's sexual awakening, but was sadly disappointed at the hot and cold writing style.
I don't think of myself as an impatient reader but when you read 200 pages of not so much and then all of a sudden in the space of a rather short 'lesson' the protagonist has slept with a bunch of randoms...
I did enjoy the lack of conversational punctuation, kept me concentrating. I also thought the lessons to be a neat way to separate the chapters.
All in all a little disappointing, but not something I regret reading.
Venetia Green
What a fascinating book. As Gemmell herself puts it, The Bride Stripped Bare is "fiction and non-fiction, fantasy and fact, a quilt that's pieced together not only from my own stories but those of my friends." (p.376) It traces an erotic journey through a repressed woman's secret life, from newly-wed to disillusioned wife, frigidity to near nymphomania, wild fantasy to wilder experiment. But what I loved most about this book was the intimacy and honesty, the near brutality, with which we see the What a fascinating book. As Gemmell herself puts it, The Bride Stripped Bare is "fiction and non-fiction, fantasy and fact, a quilt that's pieced together not only from my own stories but those of my friends." (p.376) It traces an erotic journey through a repressed woman's secret life, from newly-wed to disillusioned wife, frigidity to near nymphomania, wild fantasy to wilder experiment. But what I loved most about this book was the intimacy and honesty, the near brutality, with which we see the heroine's innermost thoughts. She is neither a likable nor admirable protagonist, but she does feel utterly real.
Jasmyne Middleton
Funnily enough, I read this on my honeymoon. Read into that what you will!
The use of second-person is confronting. This character is nothing like me, but the constant use of "you" makes me think that I could be. Which is a scary thought, because she does some things that I personally find deplorable; but I believe that to be the author's aim, at least in part. She's holding up a mirror to our darkest, basest parts, and asking us to empathise with a character who is acting on hers. The book also Funnily enough, I read this on my honeymoon. Read into that what you will!
The use of second-person is confronting. This character is nothing like me, but the constant use of "you" makes me think that I could be. Which is a scary thought, because she does some things that I personally find deplorable; but I believe that to be the author's aim, at least in part. She's holding up a mirror to our darkest, basest parts, and asking us to empathise with a character who is acting on hers. The book also perhaps serves as a reminder that we can't impose our morals and sense of decency onto other people, as much as we'd like to.
Olivier Vojetta
Just finished this book and I did not like it at all. It was recommended to me on the basis that it was 'an interesting book on marriage and sex, by an intriguing Australian author'. Well, the 100+ lessons contained in the book started wearing me out at lesson #5... But I never put a book down before finishing it so I reluctantly kept on reading. The book is flawed in many respects and so is the author's exploration of modern sexuality in my view. The only thing sort of saving the book in the en Just finished this book and I did not like it at all. It was recommended to me on the basis that it was 'an interesting book on marriage and sex, by an intriguing Australian author'. Well, the 100+ lessons contained in the book started wearing me out at lesson #5... But I never put a book down before finishing it so I reluctantly kept on reading. The book is flawed in many respects and so is the author's exploration of modern sexuality in my view. The only thing sort of saving the book in the end is the strong bond between the husband - by far the 'best' character among a legion of shallow individuals - and his newborn son.
Vicki
This book took me forever to read, the amount of times I put it down was way too high for my liking but I had to persist as I never leave a book half read no matter how bad it is. Once i got over half way I got a little more into it but to be honest i just struggled with it.I couldn't connect with character and found her to be rather annoying. She accepted the fact that her husband had an affair, never got the whole story and thought it gave her permission to do the same thing. There was a bit o This book took me forever to read, the amount of times I put it down was way too high for my liking but I had to persist as I never leave a book half read no matter how bad it is. Once i got over half way I got a little more into it but to be honest i just struggled with it.I couldn't connect with character and found her to be rather annoying. She accepted the fact that her husband had an affair, never got the whole story and thought it gave her permission to do the same thing. There was a bit of hype about this book and the fact that Gemmell originally published it as 'Anonymous' made it that more intruiging but I was mislead
Primula Bond
I read this a while ago in my search for decent erotica after the plunging disappointment of 50 Shades and I immediately loved the style and poetic language. It was totally different from what we'd been getting used to with the increasingly hard core content of erotic fiction. So different that you almost wondered when the erotic content would begin. I found it perhaps a bit long-winded and some of the language over-repetitive, but found I could drift along with it and the sex, when it came, was I read this a while ago in my search for decent erotica after the plunging disappointment of 50 Shades and I immediately loved the style and poetic language. It was totally different from what we'd been getting used to with the increasingly hard core content of erotic fiction. So different that you almost wondered when the erotic content would begin. I found it perhaps a bit long-winded and some of the language over-repetitive, but found I could drift along with it and the sex, when it came, was super charged. There wasn't quite enough of it to describe it as erotica, I don't think, and perhaps 'safer' than I have come to expect in erotica. It was also very ambiguous towards the end.
Annette
I knew nothing of this book when I picked it up in a charity shop, but the title intrigued me. I should have left it for charity, because this tome of tripe took a few hours of my life I can never get back.
Female sexuality, empowerment, yada, yada yada. It's been done before and with much more intriguing protagonists. This drove me insane with frustration (and not the sexual kind) and I skim read the last half just so I could finish the damn thing. Did she jump or did she disappear to assume a n I knew nothing of this book when I picked it up in a charity shop, but the title intrigued me. I should have left it for charity, because this tome of tripe took a few hours of my life I can never get back.
Female sexuality, empowerment, yada, yada yada. It's been done before and with much more intriguing protagonists. This drove me insane with frustration (and not the sexual kind) and I skim read the last half just so I could finish the damn thing. Did she jump or did she disappear to assume a new life and identity? Who the hell cares? Did any reader ever care less?

Hermione Inskip
Well... I've literally just finished this book and I'm sitting here thinking... That's it? This is how you end this? Even the pre and post letters from the characters mother give me no closure. It's worse than the cliff hanger in a prime time TV show at the end of the season because I know what the end is but there is literally no indication of how we arrive at that end. None!
I'm not sure I'm even convinced by the character.
Read and maybe you'll enjoy but don't be surprised if you get to the en Well... I've literally just finished this book and I'm sitting here thinking... That's it? This is how you end this? Even the pre and post letters from the characters mother give me no closure. It's worse than the cliff hanger in a prime time TV show at the end of the season because I know what the end is but there is literally no indication of how we arrive at that end. None!
I'm not sure I'm even convinced by the character.
Read and maybe you'll enjoy but don't be surprised if you get to the end and wonder if someone has stolen a few chapters.
Alice
I can't make up my mind about this book. Though the sex scenes are gratuitious enough to make the reader take notice, I think the backstory needs more. I had trouble making real sense of why this woman stayed with her husband. Perhaps this misunderstanding is a product of my own experience, but this lacks a continuity that would have been satisfying. I would have liked her to either sex it up enough to fully qualify it as erotica, or add more depth to the adjunct characters from the main. The hu I can't make up my mind about this book. Though the sex scenes are gratuitious enough to make the reader take notice, I think the backstory needs more. I had trouble making real sense of why this woman stayed with her husband. Perhaps this misunderstanding is a product of my own experience, but this lacks a continuity that would have been satisfying. I would have liked her to either sex it up enough to fully qualify it as erotica, or add more depth to the adjunct characters from the main. The husband's empty shell of a character is not a particularly convincing view of a marriage to me.
Jamie
This book took my breath away with its brutal honesty and brittle beauty. Anyone who has been in love with someone controlling will be able to pick up on the situation right away. The author talks about how the husband always knew what she wanted to eat, what she wanted in bed, etc. He never asked, he just assumed. With excruciating clarity, the author shows us how soul killing this type of relationship is. One of the best books I read this year. The author is also working on a sequel. I can't w This book took my breath away with its brutal honesty and brittle beauty. Anyone who has been in love with someone controlling will be able to pick up on the situation right away. The author talks about how the husband always knew what she wanted to eat, what she wanted in bed, etc. He never asked, he just assumed. With excruciating clarity, the author shows us how soul killing this type of relationship is. One of the best books I read this year. The author is also working on a sequel. I can't wait!
Frankie
This is one of those books where you both love and hate all of the characters. There was not a single character that I entirely loved nor entirely hated. They are all very real, and therefore flawed but unique. I gave it three stars because I read it very quickly and enjoyed myself by doing so, but it didn't reveal anything to me. It really just boils down to a story about a mostly screwed up woman, and the decisions she consciously and unconsciously makes. And the trouble those decisions or lac This is one of those books where you both love and hate all of the characters. There was not a single character that I entirely loved nor entirely hated. They are all very real, and therefore flawed but unique. I gave it three stars because I read it very quickly and enjoyed myself by doing so, but it didn't reveal anything to me. It really just boils down to a story about a mostly screwed up woman, and the decisions she consciously and unconsciously makes. And the trouble those decisions or lack thereof get her into.
Cheyenne Blue
Reviews of this book talk about the erotic content, the short chapters and the lyrical prose. Then they divide into those who loved it and those who found it annoying and pretentious.

I fall into the first camp for the first half of the book and the second camp for the second half.

The first half was painfully honest, reflective, bittersweet, and knifed through what we're supposed to think, to feel to write those things that are often hidden, even from ourselves.

The second half fell apart for me. Reviews of this book talk about the erotic content, the short chapters and the lyrical prose. Then they divide into those who loved it and those who found it annoying and pretentious.

I fall into the first camp for the first half of the book and the second camp for the second half.

The first half was painfully honest, reflective, bittersweet, and knifed through what we're supposed to think, to feel to write those things that are often hidden, even from ourselves.

The second half fell apart for me. The narrator started to irritate me. The second person point of view started to grate.

Irene Montefiore
I started reading an excerpt from this at summer school, as an example of the second person writing style, but was drawn in to the story, the character and the woman's experiences, likes and dislikes. I found it compelling and very well written. Erotica it isn't, in my opinion, though there are some fairly graphic and occasionally sordid scenes in it. On occasions the developments seemed rather improbable, but overall I think most women will, if they are honest, identify with some aspects of the I started reading an excerpt from this at summer school, as an example of the second person writing style, but was drawn in to the story, the character and the woman's experiences, likes and dislikes. I found it compelling and very well written. Erotica it isn't, in my opinion, though there are some fairly graphic and occasionally sordid scenes in it. On occasions the developments seemed rather improbable, but overall I think most women will, if they are honest, identify with some aspects of the woman in this story.
Laura
Well, this was quite the read. Could it really be a manuscript, left behind anonymously? Or is this someone's very clever idea, spawned out of fiction? Difficult to say.

The writing is simple, making it a quick read. The story itself is rather simplistic as well - a wife thinks her husband is cheating on her and goes out to find herself a lover, but there is much more to it than that. It coveres the awakening of sexual natures, the effect of sex on love and marriage, the way truth and lies and l Well, this was quite the read. Could it really be a manuscript, left behind anonymously? Or is this someone's very clever idea, spawned out of fiction? Difficult to say.

The writing is simple, making it a quick read. The story itself is rather simplistic as well - a wife thinks her husband is cheating on her and goes out to find herself a lover, but there is much more to it than that. It coveres the awakening of sexual natures, the effect of sex on love and marriage, the way truth and lies and love and children can change a married couple. Definitely a good read that I would recommend.
Hazel
This book is written in lessons n i really did not like it at all. i got to lesson 21 and i stopped. I really cudn't take nemore of this drival. It starts as the authors mother writing a letter to the author with her daughters work which she had left on her computer wen she dissappeared. Her body was never found so he may still b alive. I have to be honest and say that its one of the worst books i've read. I have the book that carries on from it "with my body" i don't think i'm even gunna attemp This book is written in lessons n i really did not like it at all. i got to lesson 21 and i stopped. I really cudn't take nemore of this drival. It starts as the authors mother writing a letter to the author with her daughters work which she had left on her computer wen she dissappeared. Her body was never found so he may still b alive. I have to be honest and say that its one of the worst books i've read. I have the book that carries on from it "with my body" i don't think i'm even gunna attempt to read it.
Krit
I keep books I've read and enjoyed, this one I left in a toilet cubicle at the airport... The novel is structured with short passages, titled by hints from a Victorian woman's guide to life handbook. The hints have very little connection to whats going on in the story, and the story is equally as vague in its intent and ending. I'm surprised this book was taken so seriously, I found it shallow and juvenile with a lame plot. The main character giving sex lessons to the hot 30 something eager virg I keep books I've read and enjoyed, this one I left in a toilet cubicle at the airport... The novel is structured with short passages, titled by hints from a Victorian woman's guide to life handbook. The hints have very little connection to whats going on in the story, and the story is equally as vague in its intent and ending. I'm surprised this book was taken so seriously, I found it shallow and juvenile with a lame plot. The main character giving sex lessons to the hot 30 something eager virgin was such a simplistic and unimaginative plot choice. I found it icky and dumb.
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