Permission by Saskia Vogel

Title: Permission

Author: Saskia Vogel

Pub Date: 7th March, 2019

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

View on Goodreads

A raw, fresh, haunting, emotionally and sexually honest literary debut.

When Echo’s father gets swept away by a freak current off the Los Angeles coast, she finds herself sinking into a complete state of paralysis. With no true friends and a troubled relationship with her mother, the failed young actress attempts to seek solace in the best way she knows: by losing herself in the lives of strangers. When by chance Echo meets a dominatrix called Orly, it finally feels like she might have found someone who will be nurturing and treasure her for who she is. But Orly’s fifty-something houseboy, Piggy, isn’t quite ready to let someone else share the intimate relationship he’s worked so hard to form with his mistress.

Permission is a love story about people who are sick with dreams and expectations and turn to the erotic for comfort and cure. As they stumble through the landscape of desire, they are in a desperate search for the answer to that sacred question: how do I want to be loved?

Permission is a beautifully crafted story of grief. The delicate sentences of loss, grief, lust and love carried me through the hard to define plot. Echo, an actress in LA losses her father. He drowns and his body is never found. Dealing with her and her mother grief she stays in her childhood home. There she meets a neighbour, Orly, a dominatrix. Echo is instantly drawn into Orly’s power, the mystery of her and the dominance and assurance she brings with her. She finds comfort in her, in defining who she is without her father, but with Orly to submit to.

The story gently touches on the subject of BDSM, never exploiting it for the plot. It is masterfully woven into the story of grief and love. Essentially story of finding who we are and what we want.

The experience of reading this book is truly unique, it takes you on the bizarre ride throughout California, and people with desires that many of the readers will find unusual and hard to understand. But it is all beautifully woven to the story that lulls you into calmness. Sadly, but also oddly pleasantly, I didn’t get closure with this book. For days after finishing it, I was catching myself thinking about the characters and what will happen when I return to the story, only to realise there’s no story to return to… I read it all…

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