Sometimes I wonder if maybe I’m not a bit brain damaged. I mean, what on earth else is there to make of your brand new husband giving you a book on sadomasochism, albeit one disguised as a fairy story, other than the obvious. What other possible conclusion is there to come to?
Coco thinks life on the French Riviera is pretty good. She has a career as a radio interviewer, friends, good food and plenty of entertainment. All she’s missing is romance. When she’s introduced to Jack Villeneuve she’s not too sure that he’s the one, but soon he sweeps her of her feet and before she knows it, they are married. All seems perfect until, after their honeymoon, Jack presents Coco with an s&m book and asks her to read it. This is the start of a disturbing series of events which sees Coco question not just their compatibility, but Jack’s motives.
Ulterior Motives is a shocking and often disturbing story, exploring the lies and differences which can destroy not just a marriage but also a person’s confidence. Coco is an open narrator, telling her story in a forthright manner , and sharing not just her story but also her recognition of her own flaws.
The story is influenced by the author’s own experience with a similar relationship, lending it an element of realism.
An uncomfortable, yet intriguing read.
Ulterior Motives, by Lucienne Joy
Allen & Unwin, 2008
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