Nikki Gemmell take 2.
For me personally, much more successful than the first time around. As you can read in my earlier post, I was not a huge fan of The Bride Stripped Bare and although this book is in pretty much the exact same layout I enjoyed it much more.
Our story is told in the first person by a somewhat anonymous character, who although reveals a lot of intimate details about herself, remains nameless throughout. We start in the present, with our middle-aged main character struggling to accept her perfect-on-the-surface life. She is a mother of 3 boys and wife of a long-time loving husband. Lately though she has felt like something is missing. The passion for her life, her marriage and her sex life. No one has every really touched her core when it comes to intimacy… No one except for Tol…
Soon after we are driven down memory lane in to a flash back that last for most of the remainder of the book. Taken back to ‘her’ early teen years, we learn about her un-loving home life – the death of her mother when she was just a baby, a father who finds it hard to express his love and a wicked step-mother worthy of a Disney movie.
Sent away to an all girls boarding school in Sydney she is left to learn the facts of life from her classmates, particularly Lune, who provides nude magazines and convinces her older sister to buy them their first vibrators. Seething from curiosity, our young lady pursues a sexual relationship with a casual art teacher. However, his harsh kisses and rough touch quickly scare ‘her’ away and put all her curiosity to a stand-still.
Heading home to the bush for her Summer holidays, ‘she’ tries to spend as much time away from the house to avoid her cold step-mother. One day when our riding her bike she notices that a pair of big gates she’s never noticed before are sitting slightly ajar. Young and carefree she follows the long path up to an old weathered house and makes her first trip to Woondala. Here she meets friendly Julian and his less than friendly best friend Tol, who lives at the house.
Returning again, uninvited ‘she’ involves herself in the house and Tol’s business, much to his dismay. However, he cant help but be intrigued by this dirty, bare-footed ‘earth’ girl. Inevitably the two embark on a forbidden sexual journey, ‘her’ begging Tol to teach her and help her learn about real passion. Pushing the boundaries with oral sex, withholding, bondage.. Told begins to open her up more and more until she agrees to be blindfolded and submits herself to an orgy of people..
Then one day, Tol disappears, no word, no explanation – the gates are simply locked and never opened again. Wallowing in heartbreak and disappointment she throws herself back in to school, graduating and moving on to college. Slowly opening back up to men but never fully committing or feeling anything. Eventually she meets her husband, moves to England and begins their family. Sex being used as it ‘true purpose’ – to makes the children and nothing else.
So now we are brought back to the present. An aching to return to Australia with the boys for a few short months see’s our leading lady returning to Woondala and finally learning the truth and secrets behind it.
With a new understanding and yearning for life and passion back home ‘she’ is thrown in to a renewed journey of life.. Let me know what you thought…