At first glance, the cover of With My Body may seem like an erotica romance but after reading the blurb, I realised there is something far more than just sex and lust, for behind the sensuality this is a story about family, marriage, self-discovery and love.
Written in second person point-of-view, the nameless character is a mother of three and she has what many women want - a husband who is a GP and one who will not let his family down. She is supposed to be happy with her life, but she is not. She realised that she and her husband have reached a point of stopping in the relationship; where they both are either too busy, or too swamped by everything else. There is not much romance or sparks left, so to speak. Deep inside, the woman is craving for a release and she can't help but to think of her ex-lover, whom she has kept hidden in her mind all these years. She didn't want to ruin her marriage, for she thinks her husband is a good man and all, and she will make sure that he will never know of her past as she revisits her memory (and a notebook whereby she had noted down lessons she had learnt from her ex-lover) where the core of this story is.
The woman had a secret affair with an older man when she was about seventeen. She had accidentally came across a secluded house where she discovered the man, who had chosen the quiet and remoteness of the place from the city so he could write his second book. Initially Tol wants nothing to do with the girl but he is piqued by her naivety and in the end, he gave in through her persistence of seeking him out. And there begins their relationship and their secret affair. Through their affair, she has learned things from Tol that would make one raise eyebrows and frown. Tol seems to learn something from her too, as he finds out more about a woman's psyche. One could say their relationship is a complex one, and there are times I wondered about Tol and if there are other agenda behind his acts. But of course I would not spoil the story and say anything more about him.
Though With My Body mainly looks at the discovery of sexuality of a teenage girl to a woman, there is one aspect which I think drives the greatest impact and that is the father/daughter relationship and the redemptive part which is surprisingly moving once the readers understand the intention behind it.
Bold, honest and thought-provoking, With My Body will be one of the most unforgettable books on my read list. This book also includes an interview with author Nikki Gemmell and her insights of writing this story (which allowed me to learn more about womanhood, in all its complexity).