Quotes from The Bride Stripped Bare

Nikki Gemmell ·  371 pages

Rating: (4.9K votes)


“There were the endless birthday nights and New Year's Eves of just you in your bed and no one else. There was the welling up at weddings, the glittery eye-prick, when all the couples would get up to dance. Sometimes it felt like your heart was crazed with cracks like your grandmother's old saucers. Sometimes the sight of a Saturday afternoon couple laughing in a park would splinter it completely.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“You're living your days at the moment how a sheep grazes, meandering, not engaged with anything much.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“An emptiness rules at its core, a rottenness, a silence when one of you retires to bed without saying good night, when you eat together without conversation, when the phone's passed wordlessly to the other. An emptiness when every night you lie in the double bed, restlessly awake, astounded at how closely hate can nudge against love, can wind around it sinuously like a cat. An emptiness when you realize that the loneliest you've ever been is within a marriage, as a wife.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“No one except your husband knows of the cautiousness at the heart of your life. Your adulthood has been a progressive retreat from curiosity and wonder, an endless series of delays and procrastinations. You wanted to be so much, once, but life kept on getting in the way... You settled. Shunned creativity, flight, risk, never had the courage to give a dream, any dream, a go.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“Alone you're refinding a glittering, a clarity, you're finding your distilled self. ...You think of the two types of aloneness you've known recently: this wonderful, sparkly, soul-refreshing type, and the despairing loneliness that sucks the breath from your life.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare



“...no matter how much Theo achieves and acquires and out-dazzles everyone else, she never seems content. She's taught you that people who shine more lavishly that everyone else seem to be penalized by discontent, as if they're being punished for craving a brighter life. I've been knocked down so many times I can't remember the number plates, she said once.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“You don't dare to think ahead too much, for you don't want this melted under the heat of your attention, don't want it gone from your life.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“Striding, finally, into the solitude. You feel as if part of your body has been ripped from you, as if flesh has been torn from flesh. But you feel powerful too, for you're free, after so long; the great burden of uncertainty, and guilt, has gone.

But then the anger comes.

At all the times in the past you've said I love you and felt stripped. All the times they never rang back. All the love affairs that evaporated, bleakly, into one-night stands. All the times they've drowned you out. Drained your energy. Your confidence. Stood you up. Walked out. Wanted a Chinese girl next.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“You know in this moment that Gabriel is at your mercy, you can do what you want, he is completely yours and with the knowledge of that something goes,you can feel it slip from you like a fish through the net.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“You feel you're learning everything about love as you watch him, from the other side. He imagines you leaving your cozy London world for a man in his thirties who has no real job, who still travels on buses, who's never found a firm footing with his life. The poet, the dreamer, and you would have fallen for it once. But you're too old, now. You just want to fuck.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare



“So, he feels now, that he doesn't have to try. And you want him more than you ever have before.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“What is the shocking weakness in virtually every man you know well? The whimpering like children when they're ill. The need for women to ask directions for them. Help shop for their clothes. Book appointments for their hair to be cut because they don't care to speak for themselves. The inability to pick up a phone if they want a relationship to stop. Are the weaknesses you see again and again a symptom of men in this age, or have they always been there, and women, secretly, have always known?”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“You feel something you haven't for years: it's to do with university parties with bathtubs of alcohol and the smell of hamburgers on fingers and beer in a kiss. You should have been disgusted by all that but you weren't. You'd be wet so quick; to get their clothes off, to have their weight upon you, to be rammed against a wall with your leg curled up.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


“Dar a inceput sa te plictiseasca traiul in mijlocul panzei de fantezii pe care ai tesut-o de-a lungul timpului. Caci un barbat adevarat s-a prins in ea si a inceput sa traga de firele ei de matase.”
― Nikki Gemmell, quote from The Bride Stripped Bare


About the author

Nikki Gemmell
Born place: Wollongong, Australia
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