Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Illustrated Woman by Mark Barry

About The Illustrated Woman
(18 + ONLY)

Emily, a brilliant cello prodigy, enjoys the perfect suburban childhood and is destined for big things. Attractive, polite, friendly, multi-talented and intelligent, with devoted parents, Emily’s life is a picture postcard sent back from a chaotic and disintegrating social world.

Then, at 15, at the whim of her worldly NBFF, she agrees to a tattoo. A simple rose on an emerald green stem. Simultaneously her first step toward identity...and a first tentative step into the abyss.

Three years later, Emily is a teenage single parent, disowned by her father and living on benefits in an inner city flat. Her life a pallid tapestry of helpless maternity, fake rum, smuggled fags, crime, Pound Goblins, Topshops, hip-hop, cold precincts, greasy spoons, prescription pills, bad food and a bewildering turnover of boyfriends. Heartbroken by yet another, and in fatalistic mood, she decides to chronicle her fall from grace by covering herself in an elaborate web of tattoos.

Enter Alan.

An awkward looking, depressed, but sincere older man who is happy to take on her daughter. He’s a saviour, a way back to her past and she’s tempted, but entwined in her life is Tyrone, a feckless, alluring, charismatic young rapper: Someone she can’t quite get out of her head.
As her bodywork reaches a conclusion, with one story left to emblazon, Emily is forced to choose: Alan? Or Tyrone?

Who will be symbolised by the very last tattoo?

TIW is a love story and a wry satire of modern life. The vivid and frequent sexual descriptions mean that this book is suitable for adults only.

What readers are saying:

5 Star Review:
The Illustrated Woman has a unique plot that will capture your attention, hold it, make you angry, make you cry, make you desperate and it will make you fall in love. It will remove you from your present world and transport you into the life of a single mother who turned her back on the world her parents desired her to have and created her own.

This book is not for the shy or timid. It is graphic and realistic. It is emotionally open and evasive. It is good and evil. It is stimulating and abusive. It is life and broken dreams. It is enthralling and deceiving. It is truth and lies. It is honor and immoral. It is beauty and ignorance. It is love and selfishness. It is desire and hatred. It is commitment and it is fear. It is enlightenment and it is disillusionments. It is about second or even third chances and it is unforgivable. It is choices and it is consequences. It is maturity at its worst and it is immaturity at its best. It is a book that will make you think...about circumstances, choices and consequences.

Emily learns early on that choices are her choices to make, not her mom and nor her dad's, thus leading her astray from the life her parents were molding her into. Acceptance...of who she is, what she wanted, who she wanted was denied creating a void in her that was filled with pain due to the rejection of a stoutly proud man...her father.

Tyrone: Attractive. Lazy. User. Her obsession. Her destruction. Her love. Her destruction. Her everything. Her on again, off again.

Penny: Obedient. Cooperative. Happy. Her life. Her daughter. Her one constant.

The Clients: Pornographic. Solicitation. Lust. Her way of paying for her Illustration.

Enter Alan: Quiet. Shy. Reserved. Suffering. Attentive. Listener. Consistent. Eager. Accepting. In love with Emily. Her, not quite sure what.

The Illustration: Her future. Her history. Her dreams. Her failures. Her life in ink. One half, pure; One half, not so much.
The Choice: Tyrone, Alan. Alan, Tyrone. Her choice. Their choice.

The Illustrated Woman is to be read as entertainment only and should only be read by adults of maturity. The Illustrated Woman has extensive usage of curse words, references to drug usage, explicit sexual relations incorporating power exchange, sexually abusive scenes, BDSM references and intense anger scenes.

And...I could not put this book down

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