By: Rebecca Pillsbury
Okay, I realize I’m a day early for Review Friday, but anywho…
What I appreciate about this book is its relatability. Ours is a culture of sex shaming (women shaming) and fundamental religious doctrine that enables groups to possess control over individuals. In Finding Ecstacy, Pillsbury goes there. She doesn’t hesitate or falter at the word “sex” and all other dialogue that accompanies such a natural act. Her story though, is much deeper than just a woman looking to have good sex.
Pillsbury introduces the reader to her small-town, close-minded upbringing where she was (as many others are) coaxed into believing that sexual partnerships, unless as a part of marriage, are inherently wrong and shameful. She explains how her religious affiliation, her school, and her peers and parents contributed to her overall fear and shame associated with sex. She speaks on a subject that outrages many women— and men— and she does so without judgment or finger-pointing. This objectivity is a source of strength in the author’s writing.
The book goes on to follow the protagonist to Argentina, and subsequently into the arms of Boris— the man that will finally help her achieve freedom from the bondage of shame and fear.
Pillsbury isn’t afraid to be candid, to share her emotional lows and highs, and to show her struggle to physical and spiritual triumph. For that she is to be commended, especially in an atmosphere where such candidacy is still a bit taboo. What I did miss from her experience though, was being able to “see” it. Though I was fully aware of the protagonist’s feelings and emotions, I was told what they were. For instance, the scene in which Rebecca’s childhood friend locks herself in Rebecca’s room and proceeds to read her journal has the potential to be an incredible testament to the effects of a close-minded community and yet, I felt a little left out in the cold. The scene felt a little glossed over. I knew the girl was in Rebecca’s room reading the journal, and I knew that Rebecca was mortified, but I wanted to know how “mortified” manifested in Rebecca’s physical body. Did she start to sweat? Did her face get hot? Did her heart start pounding? These physical manifestations of the words on the page would have brought me further into the story.
But I digress. The content— bold and enlightening— provides any reader that has experienced any kind of similar situation, whether mind, body or, spirit in nature, a great read. Rebecca Pillsbury’s story is one that should be talked about more, read more.