As a recent divorcée and newly single mother struggling with the relationship and life she's lost, Amanda is tormented, teasingly, by her younger sister she loves dearly and has always looked up to for her brashness, audacity, and self-confidence Amanda has never known herself. When her incredulous sister suggests the two of them attend "Goddess classes" together, Amanda reluctantly goes along, even as she realizes she's in way over her head and completely out of her own comfort zone.
Confronted with the necessity to confirm her own conservative beliefs, the missing ingredients of her past relationship, and the limitations of her own sensual experiences, Amanda unwittingly ventures on a path of self-discovery teaching her to recognize the love for her self she's never quite mastered.
Gradually, naturally, Amanda's view of herself and the possibilities around her evolve, due to her sister's embarrassing goading, the class assignments themselves, and even her own curiosities and desire. Amanda's new experiences and courage open her mind to all possibilities and help her learn what it means to be wholly female and quite comfortable with that fact. Letting go of her old ways she'd never before bothered to question, Amanda embraces a new perspective on life, femininity, and self-love. When she finally indulges in her own intense fantasies--even as her mind still struggles to accept them—Amanda discovers just what her life has been missing.
.... I was just telling her how my week went, all the usual stuff, when she actually asked, “Amanda, I know you’re going to be upset with me, but I have to ask. When was the last time you masturbated?”
The word dropped onto my chest like an anvil in one of those old cartoons. I couldn’t breathe. I was completely speechless. Still, that wasn’t enough to deter Connie from whatever her mission was.
“Listen, sis…” She leaned over the table to make her point, and I was so afraid she’d draw the attention of those at the tables around us. “I normally try to spare you, and not mention sex at all.” She added, “You’re so uptight.”
Uptight! She could be so crass sometimes, making me wonder how we could even be sisters, raised by the same mother.
“I just can’t stand to see you like this. You’re a grown woman, for God’s sake. You need to learn to help yourself.”
I couldn’t even follow her train of thought. What was she getting at? “Connie, I… I just can’t believe you’d even say such a word.” My eyes darted around the large room to detect any ears perked in our direction. “I don’t know what to say. I’m ashamed of you.”
Connie just laughed and leaned back in her chair again. She always seemed to loosen up whenever I grew more frustrated. “Amanda, dear, you know I love you. I’m just trying to help. It’s been two years, and you should realize that Stan never gave you anything you couldn’t provide for yourself.”
The idea was abominable. Men and women were placed on this earth for a reason. They fit together, they made homes together, and they created lives together. Nothing in the world made sense of being alone. But it was no use laying out my usual arguments for Connie. She knew them all. And she always had some argument in return.
She seemed to collect her thoughts behind that forehead of hers and then tried again. “All right. Let me say it another way. You need to loosen up. You’ve been tense for two years straight. I can only imagine how tough going through a divorce is, especially with Charlie and little Trish to take care of, but they’re getting through this all right. They’re healthy, happy. Their mother isn’t.”
“I know what you’re trying to say, but I’m all right. Really, I am. I haven’t found someone else yet, but I guess I haven’t been trying very hard either. I’m just so afraid. How do I know if the next one is going to leave me again or not?”
Connie grew visibly frustrated, and I was pouring my heart out to her. “Don’t you see? That’s what’s wrong with you! You don’t need a man. I’m trying to tell you that you should masturbate more, and all you can think about is getting married!”
The very thought of it, touching myself, rocked through my body like the very wrath of God. “Connie, I…” ....
Average Rating: 5.0/5.0 from 4 reviews
Realistic erotic fiction by one Cheri Lille, who proves that my fave erotic writer, Tina Tirrell, is not the only talented writer in Ardour’s stable.
I’m all for women being awakened. We’ve had, what, 40 or 50 years for this to be acceptable in Western society? Not very long, and we’ve still got a long way to go. Ms. Lille’s heroine, raised on a diet of Southern Belle-isms, Biblical rules, and other (arguably) horrible things, is no fantasy character. She, and millions of real women like her, are out there: 30+, single w/kids, heads full of bad ideas and low self-esteem.
Well, maybe some male readers here won’t relate to any of that. Others will. Ms. Lille’s story, while about a divorcee, has applicability to lonely men, too. Trust me: when you’re in your 40s, looking down the barrel of more yesterdays than tomorrows, you’ll feel Ms. Lille’s descriptions quite keenly. There will be days when, like Amanda, you'll feel that your "sexual market value" ain't worth a hill of beans. All the more reason to rejoice in Amanda’s happy ending, which is about finding sexual expression on her own terms. Ms. Lille describes the "awakening" in a most natural, gradual, and very erotic way. :)
I actually listened to the audible version of this story, and Ardour's regular reader (coyly called "Me") does a particularly empathetic job of expressing the sensitivity in Ms. Lille's prose.
Highly recommended reading (and listening!) for wise men, young or older, who want insight about the women in — or out — of their lives.
5 out of 5.
Curiosity got the best of me, and my trial of Amanda's Awakening was a pure impulse buy. I was just... compelled. I'm not sure if it was the cover or the title, but I was suddenly buying into something that normally isn't quite what I'm drawn to.
I write erotica so I'm very picky about what I read. VERY. And I really, really respect intelligent writing, not just the stuff all geared up to get you "going." So, there was something about this book that made me think I'd be glad I took the time to buy it and read it.
I admit, I LOVED the character Amanda... all grumbly and wondering how she got in the predicament she's in, lamenting her ex, and not knowing how to go on, but having this strong desire to BE something better, sexier, more adventurous. The way Amanda explores, how you see her mindset slowly change as she opens up, listens to her younger, more outgoing sister more, and soon considers things she never would've in the past really makes you feel for her. The way she "discovers" herself is enough to make you appreciate your own "self-discoveries," if you know what I mean. This story, Amanda's story, is sweet, funny, sexy, and fun. The only thing I didn't like was that I didn't want it to end!
I don't know if Amanda's Awakening was written for men, but I couldn't help being curious when I read the description. I have to say, Cheri Lille is a woman after my own heart... or libido. The way she wrote about this woman Amanda was so touching, and I loved the story of her breaking free from the entrapment of her conservatism to become a 'full woman' in her own eyes and even learn to love herself more. Am I supposed to like this book and be turned on by it so much?
Wow. I've never read a better description of what it's like to be a woman in this world where so many things take our attention away from ourselves, to our own detriment: family, relationships, work, beliefs. There are so many things to hold us back, and I love to think this book could even encourage more women to open up and rediscover themselves and their sexuality. Bravo, Ms. Lille!