With My Body: A Novel

With My Body: A Novel

3.5 12
by Nikki Gemmell

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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

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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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Best-known for 2003’s The Bride Stripped Bare (originally published anonymously), Gemmell revisits a woman’s sexual awakening in her tender though occasionally overwrought latest. The novel follows an unnamed, middle-aged, Australian wife and mother of three living in England, whose loving but sexless marriage drives her to reflect on her passionate affair with an older man when she was a teenager. Compellingly written in the second person, the book comprises the protagonist’s own writings to herself as she struggles to make sense of the past. Aided in her reminiscences by a progressive Victorian book for women—given to her and annotated by her lover, Tol, years ago—the narrator recounts their first chance meeting, when, as a teen desperate to escape her icy stepmother, she discovers a run-down manse wherein Tol is busy renovating and writing. Despite his protestations that she stay away, the young narrator persists, and soon a romance blossoms. But suddenly—after declaring his love—Tol disappears, and she’s been wondering what happened ever since. Though Gemmell’s beautiful prose sometimes lapses into melodrama, her gift for storytelling makes this a rewarding read. (June)

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HarperCollins Publishers
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P.S. Series
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5.42(w) x 7.82(h) x 1.12(d)

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With My Body: A Novel 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
reesspace More than 1 year ago
The 411 by Maria: From page one I am completely drawn in by the writing style. The middle age, unnamed wife with three kids could be any of us. She is in a rut and bored with life as she knows it. Kids, chores, meals, etc,. She longs for something else, something to make her remember the person she was before all of it. Who can't say they have felt a sense of self loss in the mundane tasks of the everyday? While trying to find herself she takes us back to her youth and a relationship she had as a child. While it isn't a relationship I felt comfortable reading about as it is a sexual one between her teen self and an older man, I am able to realize that there is a reason she needed the relationship. She lost her mom at a young age and her father remarried a woman who didn't want her. She was disconnected from her family and needed attention; anyone's attention. It is easy to see how this relationship manifested. When reading other reviews, I disagree with them wholeheartedly. Yes! The relationship was scandalous. Yes! She should be happy with the wonderful life she has. Yes! Yes! and Yes! But the book is beautifully, eloquently written and while it is not for everyone, as the young girls has a very sexual relationship with a man named Tol who makes her into his little play thing by teaching her how to enjoy sex to the fullest, it is a story worth reading with an open mind. I was rather surprised by the reviewers who couldn't understand the main characters need for affection and attention. As someone who grew up without a mother (she died when I was 12). Whose father took off to live his own life (selfish man) and being left with my grandparents from the age of 14 (my grandfather had been molesting me since I was 7), I can tell you that sex with an older man would have been the least trouble I could have gotten into. My final thoughts are: The book is not for everyone If you don't like reading about sex definitely don't read this one. While I didn't find it graphic. The sex between a grown man and a young teenager could be unsettling. The sexual relationship doesn't over power the book. It is there to enhance the scenes and allow us to understand why the main character (never named) is so drawn to him. The feelings of an adolescent girl and all the craziness, madness, uncertainty, neediness, and emotional drama is captured in these pages. Wonderfully written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unless you are married, have more than 2 children and have had a lover so much more then the safety of your husband..........you wouldn't relate to this book.. It is written in the first person, makes you think if it is only fiction? If your looking from a "fifty shades" vantage point, this is totally different but none the less well written. This is a book I may also buy hard copy.. Just to keep in those times when I feel "what the hell am I doing here" and not trying to believe a week stay at an institute sure beats this motherhood/marriage. I thank the author for having the skill to write something so real!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gemmell writes from her heart and her gut. I was so drawn into this story I didn't want to put the book down, but I didn't want the story to end. So much resonated with me, so many feelings and insights. Very well written. I highly recommend this book. It does have erotic content.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
With My Body is the second book in the Bride Trilogy by Australian author, Nikki Gemmell. In modern-day England, an unnamed woman, a wife and mother of three young boys, is unhappy with her life. She is almost forty, exhausted from the demands of husband and sons, the PTA president and the school demands, and bored with the routine of life. She hasn’t had sex in two years. Her despair causes her to thinks back to her adolescence in Australia, and the man who taught her to make love. It was an affair that was passionate, liberating and transforming.   The story is told in the second person, which does take a little getting used to. It is split into ten sections, which are divided into 225 (mostly very short) chapters, headed as “Lessons” and each prefaced with a quote from a Victorian volume entitled “A Woman’s Thoughts About Women” (which actually does exist). The first section and the last two are set in the present day; the middle sections deal with the woman’s life from the impressionable age of eleven, through her sexual awakening and into her early adulthood.  Readers should be prepared for certain concepts that are touched on in this novel: teen sex, bondage, and group sex, as well as some fairly explicit descriptions of sex; this is erotica, after all. However, the narrative (which is perhaps just a little slow in the middle) also explores the woman’s relationship with her father, her step-mother, a predatory artist and the writer who eventually becomes her lover, the man whose lessons she is recording. The plot does not necessarily go quite where the reader might expect, and this book is certainly better that the first book in the trilogy. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a review for this book saying that only if you're a middle-aged woman with kids would you ever be able to relate to this novel. I completely disagree. Being nineteen and reading this, I connected to it just as easily. I have been in what I define as love. I have had heartbreak. I have had the nights wondering why. Although, even at my age I haven't explored sex like our nameless character, this novel gives me a sense of hope almost.  And a sense that good things can come from bad things, and vice versa. When I reach my middle age years, maybe I will be able to pull this book out again to read over. After finishing the novel, I was feeling a mixture of happiness and disappointment. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I was hoping for something to happen between Tol and the nameless main character. But maybe that will be for another novel. Aside from that, the novel was beautifully written in the second person. A style I've only learned about and never experienced. All in all I definitely recommend this book to anyone feeling lost in their life or hurt by a lover, scratch that, to anyone. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally didn't care for this style of writing and found it impossible to get interested in the book or any of the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing style is different, very short chapters called lessons. I disagree with another review which said that if you aren't married with two kids and have had a lover other than your husband you wouldn't relate. Not true. Any woman in a relationship can relate, or at least imagine her experiences. This for me was not a book I couldn't put down but it was a good book I enjoyed. It deals with some controversial subjects, teen age girl and an older man, so if that type of topic is not for you do not purchase. Its also about finding closure and learning to aopreciate what you've taken for granted for many years. Great read. 490 pgs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
quilterKT More than 1 year ago
To be honest, I don't remember why I didn't finish this book. I only have about 5 or 6 books I couldn't bring myself to finish and this is one of them. Since I've read a few hundred books in the two years I've owned my Nook, that's not many I haven't finished. I only made it to page 74 when I gave up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kaylalarenee More than 1 year ago
I felt like it was a really dragging story. I started skimming about midway through. The storyline had merit, but it was as-if we were supposed to find huge amounts of meaning in every single drawn out word.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago