A while ago I managed to go through the 224 pages of “The Bride Stripped Bare” in just 2 days. It was originally published anonymously, but was later revealed to be written by Nikki Gemmell, an Aussie author. And this is no ordinary book, mind you. The one-line review on Amazon described it as “An explosive novel of sex, secrecy and escape.” Ooh!
Well I must admit it was a gripping read, and that it got me thinking. And in my opinion, anything that gets you wondering has got to be good. Like why some women feel the need to totter on 4-inch stilts heels and slap on fake eyelashes on a 13-hour flight. Or why some men refuse to consult a map and keep on insisting that they know the way, yes they’re sure THIS is the RIGHT way, even after they’ve been going around in circle for hours. The mind boggles. But I digressed.
Back to the book. Well, needless to say, it’s controversial. Raw, dark, desperate. And in some parts, quite over the top, and racy enough to border on being a kind of soft porn. One other word I’d also use to depict it is “challenging” — morally, and emotionally. The moral bit is rather obvious. A married woman having a long-term “wild” affair , then carrying on to have her husband’s baby, before disappearing mysteriously. But the emotional challenge is because as much as I tried, I couldn’t sympathise with this character. Not because pursuing one’s innermost sexual fantasies is wrong in any way. But because the way she was going about it only seemed to highlight her utter insecurity, selfishness, and dependence. Now, I reckon if you’re gonna do it, do it the Samantha Jones way. At least she exudes confidence. (Even too much of it sometimes.)
Anyway, it’s a good book. I don’t like it, I don’t hate it, and I’d recommend it to anyone, female or otherwise. Which brings me to another thought, if the character was a man and he was to get into (extremely) vivid details about his erotic escapades and bedroom acrobatics, the book would definitely feel sleazy and wrong. But because it was a woman, it was somehow labelled modern and rebellious. One wonders why… Is it because in the public subconscious, it’s somehow more acceptable for men to behave like that? Yet the mentality when it comes to women, is still much more conservative & restricting? And those limits, do you think, like I do, that they are mainly self-imposed?
Oh well, I’d better get out before I drown myself in this line of thoughts.
PS: In case you’ve read the last part of the other post and are wondering whether this one has anything to do with it, nope it doesn’t. I’m still working on it. Ha ha.