Book #19

The Bride Stripped Bare by Anonymous

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?

I feel I've wasted so much of my precious reading time on this dull as dishwater novel. For those of you who are completely uninterested in the sexual awakening of a woman in her mid-thirties, this story is, in short, three hundred and seventy four pages of utter drivel. For those of you who feel you still may like to read this piece of crap, read on.

This book attracted me as it opens with our narrator's mother explaining her daughter's disappearance, and how she had found a 'manuscript' amongst her belongings. Sounds pretty mysterious and interesting, and I believed the subsequent pages would be filled with reasons for the narrator disappearing, or worse. I was fooled.

What comes next are three hundred odd pages describing an unhappy marriage, a chance meeting with a foreign bloke in a cafe which turns into routine shagging, falling back in love with the husband, shunning the foreigner before deciding she still fancied him, getting pregnant by the husband, falling in love with her new son and bleating on about how happy she is in motherhood. Then the mother comes back on to the pages to tell us that's the end of the manuscript, the car was found at the top of the a cliff along with the wee guy's pushchair, but no bodies were found, okay bye. I could barely keep my eyes propped open.

Did she run away or did she jump? I honestly don't care. What reasons did she have? She couldn't decide which man to choose, despite them both being little shits.

The novel is written in second person narrative, which I found insulting. "You jump into a cab and ask the driver to meet you in a hotel room with his disgusting taxi driver pals." Excuse me, no I did not. Our author is clearly trying to appeal to her readers by putting us in the protagonist's shoes; ones I'd ideally like to lace up and start running away

I'd avoid this for many reasons (one of which being I've just told you everything that happens). I'd love to comment on the language and devices used, the characterisation and the relationships, but I'd have little praise, and I'd really like to get this book out of my life as quickly as possible.