Madonna took it on tour and my dad used to retrieve it from suitcases at Heathrow airport. A book assumed to be written by a man was in fact the work of a high brow, academic woman – for her lover. Dominique Aury revealed she was the true author at aged 86.
This French erotic novel published in 1954 (that could cause you to switch off your Kindle or read the black book furtively on the bus), was initially banned.
One of the many interesting things about ‘The Story of O’ is that it features a woman with a job and a flat in 1950s Paris. With my keen interest in people finding their dream job – I wanted to know much more about O’s job as a photographer. It sounds like a very rewarding career to me, but in the book ‘O’ wants only to bang on – literally, about her sado masochistic encounters and eventually recruit a work colleague.
Whilst I don’t know much about S&M myself, I can only assume ‘O’s job as a photographer wasn’t that fulfilling – otherwise, to my mind, she would have spent less time trussed up being whipped and more time in the office.
This isn’t your average book choice. And this isn’t what we normally discuss at our book club which gathers together a wide range of interesting women. So, I emphasise that the parallels with S&M end there. (Next time we’re back to Julian Barnes, which follows a long line of sturdy, wholesome choices including The Great Gatsby and The Corrections.)
Our Book Club is a mix of working and non working mums with many harbouring dreams of a future working from home, the countryside, working more, less hours, trying to find work at all and some working for themselves. An interesting revelation came about from one amongst us who has a very exciting online business prospect for the new year. So I look forward to hearing progress reports.
Another gathering I wanted to attend this month was Carole Ann Rice’s Ladies at 11 networking event held on the first Friday of the month. Carole Ann is one of UK’s leading coaches, author and Happy Monday columnist for Daily Express.
Like Book Club there is a lot of enthusiasm, energy and creativity amidst Ealing’s Ladies at 11 all of whom are running their own businesses. Attendees included the owner of a family run estate agent, an organic skincare creator, an extremely useful accountant and Inge Woudstra with her Mum & Career information website showing that it is possible to be a parent and have a career. Dylis Guyan provided essential business tips to guarantee increased sales in 30 days. I went home awash with information and an insight into some fantastic new start ups. And on the return home, I was able to sit and read our new book club choice free from embarrassment.
Website of the week: mumandcareer.co.uk
Tweets of the week:
Good tweeters this week: @julianclary; @caitlinmoran @bbc soundeffects and the best photo of a dad dressed as a bottle of whiskey and his son as a packet of Marlboro – all set for Halloween.
P.S Top TV: Women! A French sketch show – (I know FRENCH). Available (with subtitles on iplayer).