A woman finds her voice and leaves behind a book of lessons. It is the story of her secret self.The Bride Stripped Bare is the original Fifty Shades of Grey. Initially published anonymously, it caused a huge furore for its erotic content.
On honeymoon, in the heat and shadows of sultry Marrakech, a conventional young wife makes a shocking discovery. Although confused by her husband's betrayal , she finds it gives her the freedom to explore her deepest desires and rediscover the the true self she has kept hidden from view for so long.
But her new life is clouded by complication and the raw desire that threatens to overwhelm her. She finds herself torn between need for her husband and yearning for something more. The Bride Stripped Bare is the story of a woman whose powerful awakening is as erotic as it is dangerous.
However, I did not find it overly shocking, as with Fifty Shades of Grey, there are many scenes of a sexual nature but that is very far removed from what this book is really about. Gemmell explores a woman finding her true self after she discovers her husband's infidelity. It's a very complex and thought provoking book, I think it leaves you with some particularly uncomfortable questions.
The idea is posed that everyone has a secret, hidden self, so do we ever truly know the person we love and commit to and what do we hide from those we love? This made me think a lot about peoples' hidden nature, is it just natural or is it because we feel that we have to conform to what society expects?
The Bride is never named and the book is written in the second person which is extremely clever as the Bride could be any woman, it could be you, the reader. The second person narration makes it feel slightly detached and it also made me feel uncomfortable in places as though I had accidentally found someone's diary.
Erotic fiction is everywhere at the moment so if you are intrigued then why not start with one of the originals? I think the term erotic fiction puts some people off as they are almost expecting literary porn. However this book is nothing like that, it is about women, relationships, love, fidelity, infidelity, expectations and of course sex is involved in nearly all of those!
Dot Scribbles Rating 4/5
Many thanks to the lovely people at Harper Collins for sending me a copy of the book to review.
I have a set of two books to give away, The Bride Stripped Bare and With My Body. To win, simply leave a comment by midnight on 4th October. Only open to UK residents. Good Luck!