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With My Body: A Novel Paperback – June 19, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Bride Stripped Bare: 'Starkly explicit!richly descriptive with a fast-paced narrative' Sunday Telegraph 'Nikki Gemmel's prose has a wonderful sensuousness!witty!a subtle portrait of a modern and rather alienating marriage' Lisa Appignanesi, Independent Magazine 'Must read!A tale of sexual awakening for the dark horse in all of us' Tatler 'The sex is well-written!Gemmell is refreshingly straightforward about the act' Melanie McGrath, Evening Standard 'Easy to read, hard to put down. Keep an extinguisher handy' Closer 'A page-turner' Evening Standard 'A bored housewife embarks on a life of sexual pleasure!The sex is rude and raunchy and "exactly where you want it"' Elle 'Personal dilemmas are bravely explored; thoughts and fantasies about sex and infidelity, which most women have learned to keep to themselves, are laid bare on the page in all their shocking glory!brutal, brilliant and addictive' --Glasgow Herald --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

A wife, a mother of three, she has everything a woman should want—and yet she has gone numb inside. Locked in a never-ending cycle of chores, errands, and mealtimes, she cannot find a way to live her life with the honesty and passion that once drove her. Even her husband, whom she loves, has never truly touched the core of her being. Only one person has ever come close. In desperation, she returns to the memory of an old love affair—a transformative relationship with consequences she has never fully resolved. Revisiting her past, she will begin an exhilarating journey into her sexuality while finally confronting the hidden truths of her heart.

Exquisitely lyrical, bold, and seductive, With My Body is a thought-provoking exploration of family, sex, marriage, and love—the love we give, withhold, and surrender to.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (June 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062122630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062122636
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nikki Gemmell is the author of several novels, including Shiver, Cleave, The Book of Rapture, and the international bestseller The Bride Stripped Bare. She lives in London with her family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Brad Mitchell on September 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm reviewing this on my husband's account because I don't have one. I wanted to leave a review because I wouldn't want others to waste their time on this book: most people put a book down if they don't like the first few pages. This book is deceiving since it begins well.

I had to finally put it down and forget it more than three quarters through. As many other reviewers have noted, the book starts out nicely and engages you. A good pace and very accurately painted picture of a jaded mother who has practically given up hope for any further bliss or feeling of freedom in her life. Humorous facts and tidbits about her day make you immediately relate and care about her.

Then "Part 2" abruptly (yes, the page just reads "Part 2") throws you into her past as an alienated teenager without transitional cause. She is victimized and molested by a school teacher and emotionally neglected by her father who allows her stepmother (a plodding Cinderella cliche) to abuse her too. There is so much abuse and exploitation heaped on the child in a short set up yet most of it is framed as "empowering" her somehow. The plot and prose begin to really falter here and you can tell the author has lost her way. She begins to depend on the same manic poetics over and over to describe every bicycle ride and every breeze that blows by, perhaps because she knows she is creating an overall inaccurate picture of sexuality and adolescence.

Nothing like this happened to this author or she would not be presenting it in this way.

The serial sexual exploitation of this girl then centers around another pedophile hermited away in an old house in her neighborhood.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Helena on April 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I will admit that I was very skeptical when I originally picked out this book. I never read the author and what originally held me back was the book cover. I was afraid I was committing myself into reading a romance book. But curiousity took over. This would have been a rare opportunity for me to read Australian writer and this was a new challange for me.

Once I started reading the book, I got hooked like I never was before. The style and story were so original, I was unable to put the book down. Each chapter is a lesson, a brief story that provides a clue to psychological complexity of a woman who is struggling with her inner-self; she is exploring her own sexuality and questioning her own personal and professional choices. This woman is middle-aged, married with three kids. She no longer lives in Australia, she now lives in English countryside. Her family life is overwhelming to her at times. After all, she left her life as a lawyer to surrender herself to a life of a wife and mother. And when she is not taking care of children, dirty laundry and somewhat remote husband puts her at odds with her own self, she reflects on her childhood, teenage years and experiences from her growing up in rural Australian outback that made her a person she is today. So the story unrevels, the kind of tale that is both shocking and honest. There are so many beautiful references to literary classics from Anais Nin, Milan Kundera, Pablo Neruda and so many other literary giants. It is uncompromising look to one woman's quest to claim her right to happiness, personal fulfillment and unyielding love.

This book is written flawlessly.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steve VINE VOICE on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The first thing that you are likely to notice about With My Body by Nikki Gemmell is the layout and the style. Written as a series of lessons, often no more than a page and half and headed by a quotation that is at times direct and other times more like a random non-sequitor that dares you to decipher its deeper meaning, the pages turn rapidly as curiosity forces you onward with excitement and an almost wicked sense of luridness.

The main character in With My Body is wrestling with the transformations that have occurred to her since she became a mother and wife, and before the responsibilities of her life had smoothed over the beautiful rough edges that defined her and made her unique. Feeling the gilded cage closing in, she embarks on a journey to find the woman she lost - herself. Told mostly in flashback to her sexual awakening and beyond, it's a story that seems targeted specifically to women, however, there is much that I found myself identifying with and, just to clarify as if the name didn't - I'm a man. Despite evidence to the contrary, not all men are unaware, selfish lovers, lacking in tenderness, or incapable of self-discovery of an intimate nature. Indeed, what struck me as I read was the gender equality her epiphanies possessed. Her awareness of the most powerful elements of great sex is sharp as a tack:

"'...We have to begin with tenderness. Yes. Always. Because that's all, ultimately that's needed. It comes from a cherishing...From love. And with that comes the best kind of sex. Because it's tinged with a...a reverence. It's almost like a holiness fluttering in you both.'"

Perhaps to some, that sounded trite and full of romantic hokum, but for me it was a secret truth stolen from deep inside my heart.
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