Title: With My Body
Author: Nikki Gemmell
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
An unnamed wife and mother of three who feels trapped in her suburban life in England, reminisces about the summer back in her home in the Australian bush where she fell for an older man.
This book was both disturbing and beautiful.
With My Body is written in the second person (e.g., “You walk into a room. You see a dog. You are happy.”). I cannot recall ever reading a book written this way. It took me a little while to get used to this point of view, but after a few chapters, it felt natural. This narration takes the reader completely into the main characters world and allows the reader to experience and feel what she is feeling. With this book, that is important.
Like the point of view, this is one of those books where the setting is important to the story. Our unnamed woman feels trapped in cold, harsh England juxtaposed against the summer in the freedom of rural Australia.
There is a lot of sex in this book. And some of it will make you uncomfortable (or at least it made me uncomfortable). But the sex isn’t really what the book is about. It’s more about how the main character is changed by the experience that summer.
With My Body is an intriguing look at the sexual awakening of a young girl and the consequences, good and bad, that follow.