Book Review: Permission by Saskia Vogel

You know how sometimes a book acts as a huge brake on your reading list – well, this has been one of those for me – it’s taken me 6 weeks to get through what is essentially a ‘novella’ ………..

I’d seen the book in Stylist Magazine’s list of books for March  (As a total aside – and not relevant to the review at all – way back in the mid / late 90s I was good friends with one of the older sisters of the now Stylist Magazine book editor #quitealooseclaimtofame)  As ‘Permission’ hadn’t been published yet – I hopped on to Netgalley and requested it – and was sent an advance review copy – yay!

Now – here is where the problems start (all of which are self induced!)

The ARC couldn’t be sent in a Kindle friendly format – so I would either have to read it on my desktop (impractical), phone (too small) or another Apple product.  I found an old ipad (literally, an original one from many moons ago) and charged it up – and managed to successfully download the book to it.  However, it also had Candy Crush on the ipad – which I had removed from my phone years ago due to a massive time wasting addiction………..


I also hadn’t read the blurb – only the couple of sentences on the Stylist website – and so wasn’t sure what to expect.  Here is the blurb I hadn’t read:

“A raw, fresh, haunting, emotionally and sexually honest literary debut.
When Echo’s father gets swept away by a freak current off the Los Angeles coast, she finds herself sinking into a complete state of paralysis. With no true friends and a troubled relationship with her mother, the failed young actress attempts to seek solace in the best way she knows: by losing herself in the lives of strangers. When by chance Echo meets a dominatrix called Orly, it finally feels like she might have found someone who will be nurturing and treasure her for who she is. But Orly’s fifty-something houseboy, Piggy, isn’t quite ready to let someone else share the intimate relationship he’s worked so hard to form with his mistress.

Permission is a love story about people who are sick with dreams and expectations and turn to the erotic for comfort and cure. As they stumble through the landscape of desire, they are in a desperate search for the answer to that sacred question: how do I want to be loved?”

I often read whilst lying next to my 7 year old willing her to go to sleep – and somehow reading about BDSM when she could glance over at the ipad felt a bit inappropriate – so I didn’t tend to read it then.

I also often read whilst on the loo (I have blogged about my bowel issues before – #TMI) but kept being tempted by a few games of Candy Crush, just to use up my 5 lives, before I started on the novel – I am truly an addict.

So – what should have been a few hours read has turned into weeks on end, but I finally finished it this weekend.

Firstly – the writing is beautiful and really evocative of the Californian coast, and you really feel for Echo after the loss of her father and the strained relationship with her mother.  However, I just didn’t really get the whole BDSM stuff – and some of the writing around it was a bit weird.  It really wasn’t my bag at all – which is possibly why I was so easily distracted and didn’t devour it within hours, like other Netgalley readers have said they did.

It feels quite a ‘different’ book – how I felt about The Goldfinch when I read that (but thankfully it’s a tiny tiny fraction of the number of pages than Ms Tartt’s tome!)

I can see this being quite a marmite book – and I am definitely in the ‘don’t like’ camp.

Now, I’m going to hide the ipad again, let it run out of battery life, and NEVER WASTE TIME PLAYING CANDY CRUSH AGAIN!!!





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