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The Concubine's Gift

The Concubine's Gift - K. Ford K. A story about sexual discovery, empowerment and the happiness achieved through self-acceptance and love. A surprisingly beautiful story that blends in everyday aspects with well preconceived taboos giving an almost puritan yet extremely curious woman the ability to see other people’s sexual experiences and the elated feelings that accompany such moments.The Concubine’s Gift follows Bernice as she struggles to accept her inner most emotions and desires that contrast greatly with her strong, religious upbringing. As daughter of the town’s minister and the only charm school teacher with a rebellious brother, Bernice has spent her entire life avoiding confrontation, swallowing her opinions and making sure that she pleases everyone else at the expense of her own happiness and satisfactions. The only signs of Bernice’s true thoughts and ideals are encased in a very private, much hidden collection of erotica memorabilia. The story contrasts the sense of decorum versus sexual liberation. I was surprised at how easily I was sucked into it. I enjoyed following Bernice and the other various characters as they made their journey to blissful love making; yes, not just sex –love making. That is ultimately the main theme of this book, love so instinctual that it’s reached its maximum through unrestricted carnal expression. The story also juxtaposes the current believes and the new openness when it comes to, well, almost everything, versus the ideas and moral values engraved in our subconscious by our family, our community and our culture. This is most evident by the town’s division in opinions when it comes to the bordello. The bottom line is that I really enjoyed this book, and even though it’s just a fiction story, it makes you reconsider your notions and your stance on sexuality. Some quotes:This one: “Bernice was fascinated by Trinket because she wore her sexuality as openly as a fragrant perfume. She was also amazed by the fact that Trinket found life so easy and satisfying.” (Kindle Locations 131-133)In contrast with: “She [Bernice] didn’t like anything that had an adult theme, with only one exception, her collection of erotic female memorabilia. They were all antiques, fragments of other women’s sexuality that was somehow easier to deal with than her own.” (Kindle Locations 143-145)There is:“It’s just as well,” she thought. “If I told them what I really think, they’d shit roses.” (Kindle Locations 159-160)In contrast with: “But Bernice also did not believe that hiding her true opinions and sexual feelings was dishonest. She thought it was similar to hiding a defect and Bernice felt that her defect was that she had too much sexual interest, too much excitability and far too much empathy for prostitutes. She never once considered that properly channeled, her sexuality might be normal or that her opinion might be right.” (Kindle Locations 245-248)And this one simply because it’s pretty awesome: “The erotic arts have the same goal as religion; to prevent men from acting like beasts.” (Kindle Locations 1430-1431)This review also appears at Journe with Words