Explicit, Engrossing and Feminist | Review: Permission by Saskia Vogel

7:30 AM

Saskia Vogel had me instantly with a simple description: "--prefers to lose herself in the lives of others rather than examine her own."

Echo is a failing actress who prefers to lose herself in the lives of others rather than examine her own. When her father disappears in a seaside misstep, she and her mother are left grief-stricken, unsure of how to piece back together their family that, it turns out, had never been whole. But then Orly - a dominatrix - moves in across the street. And through her, Echo begins to find the pieces that will allow her to carry on. Set among the bright colours and harshly glittering lights of Los Angeles, this is a love story about people addled with dreams and expectations who turn to the erotic for answers.

Permission by Saskia Vogel 
Rating: ★★★☆☆

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.  

My biggest complaint about Permission is frustratingly mundane: I wish it were longer. Which, in a way, speaks wonders about the fact that Permission is a damn good read. I'm always a bit skeptical when reading books that portray a BDSM lifestyle, mostly because of the inaccuracies that sprinkle themselves into things--ahem, I'm looking at you, Fifty.

That being said, I cannot tell you if Permission has an accurate view of things, only that it plays a part in the central story arcs. It goes without saying that, if this isn't something you fancy reading even moderate descriptions of, Permission won't be for you. This is an explicit read and very engrossing in its feminist nature--so if this sounds intriguing for you, I'm definitely recommending it.

At its core, however, Permission is a poignant tale of connection (primarily between Echo, Piggy and Orla) and personal growth. For Echo, this means exploring so much more of life and truly putting herself out there. While there were times when the characters and their relationships felt a bit stilled and not wholly there, I think that was less on writing quality and more of the length. Permission was a great read, but it definitely could have benefited from a longer release.

Permission is about more than just sexuality and the complexities of the human mind and longing. It is a different kind of coming-of-age story. It reminds us, too, that coming-of-age extends beyond just one age frame. Its most striking quality is the frank way in exploring many topics--including sexual pleasure, grief and finding ones voice. Vogel has this quality to her prose that makes everything hit the right spot.

As for the characters: of all we meet, I found Orla to be the most fascinating due to several quotable moments. I really enjoyed the presence she provided because it could be equally thought-provoking and tense.

Overall, I enjoyed Permission very much and had an easy time focusing on its narrative. Saskia Vogel did a wonderful job exploring such topics and breathing life into her characters.

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