The Bride Stripped Bare by Nikki Gemmell

GENRE: Contemporary | PAGES: 371

My rating: ★★★★

Despite being an international bestseller, Nikki Gemmell’s The Bride Stripped Bare has received more than its fair share of negativity. There are gripes about the fact that she initially published the book under Anonymous and a lot of people found her candid sex scenes a little too much.

I disagree. For starters, the synopsis should forewarn any sex-shy reader of what they’re about to embark upon, and far from shocking, I found that her open style of writing had a certain grace within it. There is a definite beauty to be had in witnessing the kind of self-discovery that the main character made. She uncovered parts of herself that had been lingering within her all her life, that she had repressed, and she was no less than courageous to permit herself to act on those inner urges.

In a world that is now all about equality, there is still a strange tendency or expectation for women to acquiesce to a certain extent and this holds true in regards to sexual partnership. While there are some of us who are comfortable with our strong sexuality, the majority of women find themselves quietly submissive when it comes to expressing what they want or need.

The author here, with the protection of anonymity, was able to give a raw account of what her character was all about. This is not to say that she summed up the urges or fantasies of every woman but it took nerve to put her own out there for all to see.

I love the style of the book. This was the first novel I’ve ever read in second-person format and I think it added to the vivid atmosphere that Gemmell creates. Overall, a fantastic read.




  The Bride Stripped Bare


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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