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The Bride Stripped Bareby Anonymous
Synopses & Reviews
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. Inspired by a manuscript written by an anonymous Elizabethan woman who dared to speak of what women truly desire, 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?
In writing The Bride Stripped Bare, the author decided to remain anonymous so she would feel absolutely free to explore a woman's inner world. As she writes in her afterword, "That doesn't mean this book is a memoir; it's many things to me, fiction and nonfiction, fantasy and fact, a quilt pieced together not only from my stories but those of my friends."
Coolly impassioned, The Bride Stripped Bare tells startling truths about love and sex. It will make you question whether it is ever entirely possible to know another person.
"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. (Mar.) Forecast: Gallons of ink have been spilled overseas about this one — most of it on the question of the author's anonymity (she's gone public there — or has been outed, depending on whom one asks). But there's little here that's shocking enough to justify the secrecy, so it's hard to imagine that there will be quite the same buzz stateside. The sex is explicit, but still rather tasteful." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Superbly executed: suspense, psychodrama, anger, tenderness and terror mingle with the restlessness of a vast , overpowering landscape." London Times Literary Supplement
"Simply too beautiful...a mesmerizing and disquieting novel that will deserve to be read again." Vogue Australia
"One of the few truly original voices to emerge in a long time." Time Out New York
"Wonderfully sensuous...witty in its construction...a subtle portrait of a modern marriage." Independent
"A powerful novel that does not flinch from strong emotion or description...luminous." London Times
"A jazzy, nonlinear...narrative style as compelling and exotic as the landscape itself." Baltimore Sun
"Unremitting, elegant and dark. I believe every woman should get married at least once, and read this novel twice." Suzanne Finnamore, author of Otherwise Engaged
About the Author
Anonymous is a young Iraqi-born woman who escaped to Israel from Iraq and eventually moved to the United States, where she became a counter-terrorism expert. Equipped with an in-depth knowledge of Arabic and a deep understanding of the Muslim culture, she soon became the nation?s leading expert on Islamic terrorism. Because much of her work is done undercover and she has penetrated numerous gatherings of Muslim radicals, her existence has been kept a secret until now. Through her work she has helped government agencies to collaborate with one another. Her investigations have resulted in the deportation of terrorists who lived and prospered in the United States and prevented the U.S. government from unwittingly funding front groups of terror. Her undercover work on money-laundering practices of terrorist groups made possible one of the largest counter-terrorism operations ever conducted by the U.S. government. She currently serves as a consultant for several government agencies and is the mother of four children.
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