Book review – The Dangerous Bride, Lee Kofman

The last week I have spent very little time writing and much more time reading. Reading is one of my favourite things to do and I grab spare moments in time, especially when commuting to and from work, to gulp down as much as I can. Now I have finished my research for my manuscript, I no longer have to focus my reading material on the Second World War. I am very grateful for this respite from warfare, horror and sadness. I have certainly been enlightened by my research, it has given me a much wider understanding of that time in history, but it has also been depressing and has left me with images I would rather not have.

Although I read a bit of fiction, I most enjoy memoir and autobiography. I’m currently working my way through the books of Karl Ove Knausgaard, which are well worth reading and of which I will write about later on. However, I decided to read The Dangerous Bride by Lee Kofman, not only because Lee is my current mentor, but also because her book is written about a subject I wouldn’t normally read about – non-monogamy. I like to test myself now and again, stretch my literary boundaries, so to speak, and I wasn’t disappointed.

As I read I was both astonished by and appreciative of the honesty of the writing. Lee truly exposes herself in this memoir. I am envious of the way she is able to take her thoughts, her actions and her soul and toss them in front of her reader, as if to say “here I am, here is all of me.” For someone who finds it difficult to write about my inner most feelings, my past and my own feelings, Lee’s style and openness were a revelation. One day I hope to be able to write in the same way. However, I do wonder about the impact of this story on the people Lee writes about. Would I ever be able to write about myself, my friends and my family as honestly? I’m not sure.

The Dangerous Bride manages to tell a personal story of searching for an ideal, of personal hopes and dreams, emigration and life in a foreign country, while at the same time weaving research, interviews and literary tales through the narrative. I especially enjoyed the accounts of other writers’ lives and loves, as well as excerpts from their writing. Some of the passages were confronting but at the same time, they were fascinating and often took me down unexpected paths. Living in Melbourne, I also liked the references to places I knew or had visited.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in someone’s personal story, or the pros and cons of non-monogamy, or the results of research into non-monogamy; or to anyone who appreciates a beautifully written story. I found it difficult to put down once I had picked it up.

If you are interested in this book, Lee Kofman’s website can be found here: http://www.leekofman.com.au/dangerous-bride/

Alex

Alex de Fircks is a writer of memoir and short fiction. She blogs about family, moments in time, memories and travel. Alex is passionate about history, genealogy and family stories.

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