Publication Date: 11th February 2021
I’d had Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan on my radar for a good while. I talked about it in the Autumn issue of NB Magazine and it appeared in my Most Anticipated Reads of 2021 blog post here.
You guys know I can usually be found lurking around anything dark, gothic and historical but occasionally I enjoy a burst of fresh contemporary fiction.
Insatiable tells the story of Violet, a twenty something woman living in London and working in the lower echelons of the art world and struggling to make ends meet (due mainly to her shopping habits and maxed out credit cards). Whilst attending an arty party one evening having acquired some tickets, Violet feeling out of place and awkward is drawn to an enigmatic, beautiful and serene looking woman who introduces herself as Lottie. Lottie turns out to be looking for someone to deal with the socials for her and her husband Simon’s new start-up company and invites Violet to a meeting.
Violet does some Instagram stalking and realises that not only is Lottie beautiful and Simon is ‘Gandy’ handsome but they also live a very privileged life. Their initial meeting to discuss the job is fizzing with sexual tension, and when the good quality wine is flowing Violet becomes entranced by this power couple.
Violet swiftly becomes embroiled in their opulent world, including their Friday night sex parties with two other couples, Max and Mimi, and Richard and Sasha. Violet is almost pimped out at the beginning, brought in at a moments notice to business meetings with potential investors as a kind of eye candy treat. Whilst she feels used she goes along with whatever Lottie and Simon want because not only does she so desperately want to be part of their world, she really really needs the job they are dangling in front of her.
Violet’s past relationship and the fact that she cancelled her wedding, losing her best friend and the respect of her parents (plus hundreds of pounds in deposits!) means that she is desperate to belong somewhere and feel loved and needed by someone. When she is drawn into this world of sex and wealth, Violet has to decide if it’s what she really wants.
There is a lot of sex in this book. A lot of really well written sex in my opinion. Violet is having a lovely old time! However there is also sexual assault, the reaction to which is not as you would expect so just bear that in mind.
Daisy Buchanan writes characters that feel fully three dimensional and you become invested in this strange world of people who have very tenuous and often very tense and strained connections. Violet herself is loveable yet wholly frustrating! There were times when I wanted to shake her to open her eyes to these people who were flawed and toxic in varying degrees. She makes some stupid decisions and is highly flawed herself but I found myself rooting for her and hoping she made the right decisions in the end whilst being willing to forgive her if she didn’t!
This is a fresh, gutsy and vibrant story about love, female desire, ambition and women’s agency over their own bodies and desires. Daisy has a quick wit and this book is funny and sexy and super sharp.
‘After showering, I try to cover my body in mango scented moisturiser. It sits on top of my damp, sweaty skin. I look like bait for a yoghurt fetishist. I spy a rogue hair sprouting from the middle of my neck, a pube tourist that has taken a series of wrong turns. I tweeze it out and my neck starts bleeding and won’t stop. After failing to staunch the wound I pluck my eyebrows until there are barely any left. I try to fix them with a pencil. In a few strokes I go from Cara Delevingne to Bert from Sesame Street.
I’ll admit I was a little worried that I might be too old at 42 to read and enjoy a story about a bit of a hapless millennial having rampant sex with people she barely knows but to hell with that! Age is but a number! I loved it.
If you want an eye opening and filthy romp with love and belonging at its heart then you need to get your hands on a copy immediately. I was absolutely right to include this book on my Most Anticipated list.
Thank you as always to the publisher for my review copy.
See you all soon
Amanda – Bookish Chat xx