Nothing Natural Author:Jenny Diski Rachel is a modern woman. She is in her thirties, divorced, living with her young daughter, staying friends with her ex-husband for the child's sake, working as a special ed. teacher. All in all she's pleased with herself and her life, and if she should become a little depressed - she goes shopping. — Then, at a dinner party given by an old schoo... more »l friend, she meets Joshua. "very clever, but a bit odd. Not someone to get involved with, but interesting" had been his billing. When they are introduced, she think, "Oh shit, I've seen this one before. The Charmer." And when he takes her home, she doesn't feel threatened; quite the opposite, she feels in total control. But once they are in her bed, the control becomes his. As they are making love, he slaps her bottom quite gently. She is curious and embarrassed, but also a little excited by it.
So begins a remarkable first novel that takes us into the daily life of a woman who could be any of our sisters or friends. But we are also shown the part of her life she would never talk about over cappuccino: the part that is completely enmeshed in a passionate and violent sadomasochistic relationship, which suddenly takes another turn.
It is Jenny Diski's extraordinary talent that she has created such an absolutely recognizable and sympathetic character that although Rachel is drawn down into a netherworld of sex and depravity, she manages to remain incontestably herself. This is neither "Justine" not "O", so we are willing to follow her ion her spiral and we finally find ourselves, amazingly, neither judges nor observers, but passionate co-conspirators.
This is a startling, disturbing and thought-provoking debut.« less