Jasmine CarriettE is smart, curious, driven, from the conservative South. Her parents' hostility pushed her into an early unsuitable marriage. She sought escape. So they sought to commit her to an asylum.
Fortunately for us, CarriettE kept this starkly honest, insightful, elegant record of her life. Her warmth, perspective, and humor are unique. A gifted writer, a serious thinker, an educated woman born before her time, taught she was unworthy, CarriettE chronicles with breathtaking clarity her struggle to grow, understand, and connect.
Be prepared. CarriettE confronts sex head-on. Not to titillate or wallow in the lurid, but to reflect upon that difficult and magical connection that makes us vulnerable--and human.
Early emotional wounds left her unable to publish, despite friends' urgings. Now, in her 80s, CarriettE takes that courageous leap. We're the beneficiaries in this deeply personal story of loss, sex, death, affirmation, and most importantly, self-respect and love.
"A spellbinding and riveting memoir, this book brings us a unique account of one woman's journey through a life of love and desire. In reading this book, other women, as well, may come to a deeper understanding of their own search for the meaning of love and sensuality and relationship in their lives."
--Bonnie Strickland, PhD, Former President, American Psychological Association
"I've heard said by some that the most motivating forces in their lives have been anger, dissatisfaction, defensiveness, but Jasmine CarriettE's engine of pure desire fuels this book from the hot furnace of its beating heart. Hers is a story propelled by an irrepressible and unashamed appetite to be loved. She lives her life on these pages, splayed out, raw and vulnerable yet wholly without apology. I admire her grit, her language and her unbound longing, for it is finally that which rises up from the pages and stands out as courage, as relentlessness, as the sparkling mirror of honesty."
--Cyn Kitchen, Associate Professor of English, Knox College, and author of Ten Tongues.
Eighty-three-year-old CarriettE has kept "a copy of every word she's] ever put on paper" and proves it in this memoir about her late-life sexual awakening, in which she collages journal entries, letters, and narrative interludes. She opens with a description of her childhood and a mother who forbade her from wearing sweaters lest she accentuate her bosom. The memoir then examines the author's first marriage, to a man who was "careful to never touch her" during sex; abuse by her psychiatrist; and a second marriage that ended in disaster. Finally she began a long-lived open relationship with a man whose fear of commitment kept him from kissing her on the lips. Debut author CarriettE's work is marked by fluid prose tending toward the purple, especially when detailing her many erotic encounters. The memoir's structure reveals a woman often at odds with herself, contradictions made evident by letters professing deep attachment that are followed by sudden separations, breakups leading to unsatisfying reunions, and assertions that she had "no desire to disrupt" the life of a married childhood love punctuated by detailed fantasies about him. Best suited for readers who appreciate graphic depictions of sexual acts, this memoir will appeal to anyone who's been shunned for harboring, and acting on, convention-defying desires. (BookLife)
--Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 05/12/2017; Release date 05/01/2016