This novel of sex, secrecy, and escape by an anonymous writer begins with a missing woman; her car lies abandoned on a remote bluff but no body is found. She was the good wife and mother: mannerly, quiet, and self-contained. But she has left behind an incendiary diary chronicling a disturbing journey of sexual awakening. As the diary opens on her honeymoon in Morocco, she believes herself to be happy . Swiftly, however, this smooth surface is ruptured as an act of massive betrayal propels her into a world of desire, fantasy and recklessness. What begins for her in the imagination ends in a downward spiral of obsession and release. The protagonist finds an unlikely heroine to inspire her in a dusty, rare manuscript written by an anonymous woman in the 1600s, a cry from the heart for women to live and love freely. With this as her guide, she dares to challenge convention as she learns the intoxicating power of knowing what she wants and how to get it. The question is, how long can her soul sustain a perilous double life? Coolly impassioned, "The Bride Stripped Bare" explores the truth about love and sex. Couched in a deceptively simple style, it will make you question whether it is ever entirely possible to know another person.
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The author has had two previous novels published to critical acclaim, with reviewers hailing the freshness and power of her writing. In the traditionof women over the centuries, she has decided to conceal her name in order toFrom Publishers Weekly:
A series of diary entries charts the sinuous paths of marriage and sexual desire in this artful book, a bestseller in the U.K. The author of the entries, a nameless 30-something housewife, has disappeared, leaving behind what amounts to 138 "lessons," written in the second-person, for her fellow archetypal "good wives." At first, the gimmick is jarring, but as the protagonist's personality emerges and flowers, readers will be seduced by this sometimes subtle, sometimes overwrought novel set in modern-day London. At first, marriage equals safety to the woman ("it's a relief, to be honest, this surrendering..."), but the sex is humdrum, and Cole, her husband, is remote and fastidious—only oral sex offers a surefire way to orgasm and sometimes he'd just rather watch TV. To make matters worse, he may have engaged in an affair with her best childhood friend. Beginning work on her long-planned book might cheer her up—and so will an affair with lovely Gabriel, of the "cathedral-wide" chest and silky young skin. Thus she commences erotic adventures previously unimaginable. She also becomes pregnant, and the anonymous author is cannily perceptive about the vicissitudes of pregnancy and new motherhood; she writes strikingly of the surprising erotic passion, emotional upheaval and anger that can flare during pregnancy. This unusual but strangely compelling novel offers an intimate chronicle of change and self-discovery, of a woman who makes a final and unexpected choice.
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Book Description London, Fourth Estate, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. 376p. Original orange boards with silver lettering. Australian author's controversial novel that only appeared in softcover in her native country. A brand new first printing in dustwrapper. Bookseller Inventory # 19922003S