Insatiable

INSATIABLE
Daisy Buchanan
Sphere

REVIEWED BY WILLIE CAMPBELL


Daisy Buchanan, an award-winning journalist and non-fiction writer has taken the plunge into fiction with this novel. It sits comfortably in three genres: romance novel, erotic literature and coming-of-age story.

We meet Violet, not at all a shrinking soul, and find her in recovery from a cancelled marriage, the loss of a best friend, bored and frustrated with her humble position in an art agency, highly aware of outward signals of success such as clothes and furnishings, and obsessed with sensual and sexual pleasure, whether solo, group, virtual, real time or in outrageous fantasies.

She reflects constantly  on her behaviour, its causes and its contribution to relationships.

Violet is a rounded and complex character and we see all others through her eyes as they are simply foils for her own personality development. Central in this are a couple, Simon and Lotte, who tempt Violet with promises of an exciting position in a start-up art agency they are developing. In the interim, she becomes a participant in regular group sex with them and two other couples. This is brought to a critical challenge on holiday in a luxury resort when Violet leaves the group and returns home.

Two of the women contact her and offer advice and explanations, while a final meeting with Simon and Lotte convinces her to abandon their company.

Buchanan, who has used varying pace and astutely judged disclosure to keep the story credible, slows and expands the descriptions of the protagonist’s reflections. And ultimately Violet makes progress towards finding herself.

Willie Campbell is a Dunedin educator

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