Title: With My Body
Author: Nikki Gemmell
Genre/Audience: Erotica, literary, adult
Publication: Harper, 2012
Source: For review, TLC Tours
Summary: An unnamed wife and mother of three is merely content with her life and nothing more. Her husband is kind but not passionate. Her kids are good but ordinary. She’s given up her law career, has not had sex in two years, and she and her husband don’t even sleep together, period. Her mundane life leads her to think often of the passionate romance and sexual awakening she had as a teenager with an older man, Tol, a writer and recluse. Much of the story is told as a flashback to this time in her life, all the way through the end of the relationship, as well as her present life, and the emotional turmoil she endured as a child and teen.
My Thoughts: This story was interesting. It was told in 2nd person narrative, though, which seems very awkward and clunky to me, and the few times I’ve read books from this POV, I’ve disliked it. It made me feel a disconnect from the story and characters somewhat, so I did have a problem with that. I also thought the story started out very slowly and I was not very interested or invested for the first fourth of the book or so. However, after I got used to the style a bit, I did begin to enjoy it a bit better. The story eventually goes back in time to her youth, so I enjoyed seeing what led up to the woman she has become. I often like stories that reveal a person’s whole life and history. It’s nice to see why people are the way they are so that was good.
While I was interested enough in the story to keep reading, I never felt compelled to race home to pick it back up. I was interested in it while reading, but never thought about it while I wasn’t.
The storyline itself is quite fascinating and something I’d typically enjoy reading, but it wasn’t written in a way that grabbed me completely. The writing is lyrical and smart, but I felt that it caused the story to drag a bit. I would have enjoyed it better if the writing was more straightforward and casual, as well as if it was in 1st or 3rd person narrative instead of 2nd (which narrates as “you”).
I think if you’re a fan of literary fiction, and the topic of sexuality, you will really enjoy this story. It wasn’t completely for me, but it wasn’t a waste of time either. I’m certain there’s a proper market for this title out there, but it’s a strange mixture of literary / almost-erotica and you’d have to be a fan of both. I enjoyed the short chapters aka “lessons,” so the format of the novel was appealing to me, as well as the actual story line, but the writing really wasn’t my favorite.
My Rating: 3/5