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It is not a shiver, it is not a shimmy. It is a full body shaking.
A woman dissociates after childhood abuse and goes on to live a glamorous life far removed from her small hometown in South Africa - and herself. She travels to Cape Town, Phuket, Dubai, Paris, Venice, Cairo and Munich, tying to find her place as a woman in the world. Being a pretty girl, many exciting opportunities open up to her and she moulds herself to fit each role, from film presenter to flight crew, fashion model to fetish dress-up, like a showgirl on a stage. Yet with every move and every smile, she keeps losing more of herself to the greedy hands of men who are drawn to her submissive and alluring beauty.
"The more I sleep, the more I can start over when I wake up. Refresh. Rethink. Colour my hair pink."
For Poppie Poggenpoel, life does not go on as usual. She can be anything she wants to be, except herself. Part battered small-town girl, part alluring traveller, her search for the right look has her doing whatever it takes to shake the hollow feeling. From behind layers of doll-eye mascara she transforms herself, only to take on everyone else's ideas of what it means to be enough. Will she find a safe place to be; a dancing, breathing human being-made of the same water and dust as everyone else?
BONUS MATERIAL: 11 original illustrations, 5 easy recipes, 1 delicious cocktail idea
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|Publisher:||Lize de Kock|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.61(d)|
Table of Contents
For all the women.
I hope you find that safe place inside yourself.
Chapter 1: The Music Box
Introducing the character in a small, semi-arid town in South Africa, as she gets beaten by her father after looking for attention. Her parents are unaware that she is being sexually abused. She dissociates, has an out of body experience and focuses on the the pretty ballerina spinning in her childhood music box.
Chapter 2: The Collector's Piece
The title refers to porcelain that her mother collects and her father breaks in anger, but also to her own fragility and brokenness. Her first boyfriend in Cape Town is a womaniser and "collects" women. Collectors also throw things away that are no longer valuable. Poppie believes that she is rubbish, unwanted, unloved.
Chapter 3: The Marionette
Her second boyfriend gets her to perform in front of the camera presenting food documentaries in Phuket, like a puppet on a string. There are also elements of a porn collection and trying to coax Poppie into making porn movies.
Chapter 4: The Trophy
This chapter covers her virginity and the boys who hunt this down at school. Her mom shows her off as a reflection of her own ego and completely misses who Poppie really is and what is going on with her. Poppie discovers superpowers inside herself. Magical realism comes into play. She can breathe under water.
Chapter 5: The Mannequin
She works as a fashion model on the Paris catwalk, not expected to be a real person but more of a clothes hanger. She meets a rich and charming man who sweeps her off her feet with grand gestures. It's also her first experience of date rape, feeling like a plastic doll.
Chapter 6: The Lucky Charm
The mother uses Poppie to get the attention of the gynaecologist, facilitating Poppie's abuse to please the object of her own affection. Poppie finds that focusing on the beauty in the natural world around her helps her to find a sense of order and control. The mother buys Poppie a charm bracelet to compensate and show a kind of love.
Chapter 7: The Voodoo Doll
While working as a flight attendant in Dubai she learns to stick lots of pins into her hair in order to style it up. She also learns about the evil eye which is a superstition where a person can curse you when looking you in the eye. Second experience of rape. Feeling possessed and demonised.
Chapter 8: The Love Doll
Poppie falls in love with the wrong guy, as an escape or solution to problems - and gets into fetish and destructive sexual behaviour along the way. The sweetness of romantic experiences in Venice jars with cold sexual acts.
Chapter 9: The Dancing Doll
When she goes to Cairo she meets the belly dancers of the Middle East who challenge the concept of being superficially doll-like by being inherently powerful as women. She connects with a type of goddess energy and learns how to dance her way through trauma. It looks like she will learn to honouring herself.
Chapter 10: The Tumbler Toy
When she moves to Munich she regresses into a dissociative state, triggered by her abusive boss who harasses the women in the office. In a desperate attempt to find salvation, she creates a fantasy around a man she hardly knows and thinks that she fell in love until reality hits. She gets drunk and raped by a random opportunist.
Chapter 11: The Flower Fairy
Poppie tries to own her power and sexuality by taking up burlesque dancing and using men. When accepting a drink after a show she is drugged and ends up having a near death experience in hospital. She gets up again and finally faces herself in the mirror. Another chance at life. A new perspective.